England in position to stamp Test authority over South Africa
The second of the four Tests between England and South Africa gets underway at Trent Bridge this Friday, and the odds look good for the hosts.
A sensational captain’s debut from Joe Root, coupled with a second innings collapse from South Africa allowed England to take the first Test at Lord’s.
And now the hosts are well poised to go 2-0 up in Nottingham.
Faf de Plessis is back for the Proteas, but they have injury concerns over Vernon Philander.
The major blow for the visitors however, is the absence of Kagiso Rabanda, who is suspended for this Test after being caught swearing on the stump mic at Lord’s.
England have no such worries, although Root will be keen to avoid his side falling to 76-4 in the first innings as they did in London.
That said, it was South Africa who failed to capitalise on that situation, before their woeful collapse which saw them all out for 119 on the fourth day.
Root will now be hoping England can invoke a similar performance to their most recent Test in Nottingham – the famous fourth Test which secured the Ashes in 2015.
The Yorkshireman hit a memorable 130 during that match, and he’s in great nick after his superb 190 at Lord’s last time out.
Alastair Cook has settled into his new role post-captaincy, and a 69 in the second innings at Lord’s proved crucial.
The Essex opener is 10/3 to top score for the hosts in the first innings.
As far as bowling goes though, nobody enjoys playing at Trent Bridge more than Stuart Broad.
The Nottinghamshire all-rounder stole the show during that Ashes Test two years score, with a sensational return of eight Australian wickets for just 15 runs.
We’re 5/2 Broad takes the most wickets for England in the first innings, the same price as James Anderson.
But after a superb 10 wicket haul at Lord’s, Moeen Ali could be worth a look at 11/2 to nab the most first innings wickets for Root’s side.
With Rabanda banned and Philander carrying a niggle, Morne Morkle will have to lead the charge for South Africa, and is 5/2 to skittle through the most English batsmen in the opening innings – just as he did in the first Test.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing