Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Fourth Test: South Africa vs England Preview

Fourth Test: South Africa vs England Preview

South Africa vs England Preview

The challenges facing the Proteas conspired to see the hosts slip to an innings on a turning track in Port Elizabeth.

That defeat means that England will retain the floating Basil D'Oliveira trophy, there is still plenty to play for at the Wanderers though with World Test Championship points on the line.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Fourth Test | Friday 24 January 2020 | The Wanderers, Johannesburg | 10:00

To Win
South Africa 5/2
Draw 33/10
England 15/20

South Africa
The third Test of the series was a disaster for the Proteas and made it apparent that the team has a lot of work to do to re-stablish themselves among the elite of the game.

Batting is at the core of the problem, but there are no simple solutions to the issues plaguing the team and wholesale changes are unlikely to have a positive effect. Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar as openers have shown enough to suggest they should be given time to galvanize into a pairing that will help South Africa's top order.

The lack of Test experience in the middle order has been exacerbated by the poor form of skipper Faf du Plessis, whose head is now on the block from a leadership perspective. Temba Bavuma's hundred in Pietermaritzburg puts even more pressure on the skipper after he declared that the Lions batsman needed to force his way back in by weight of runs.

Keshav Maharaj was perhaps the only Proteas player to enhance his reputation in PE, but he was a little bit expensive when juxtaposed with England's tweakers. Maharaj helped his cause with another dogged innings, but in the context of the series, it had little impact. His runs and application will be pleasing to management though, especially given his reputation with the willow in hand.

The suspension of Kagiso Rabada might allow left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks to come in and offer the Proteas some variation in an attack that looked flat in PE.

It now appears that England's poor display in the first Test could be put down to the illness that ravaged their camp, but they pulled a few positives out of the virus.

Had the disease not wracked the Three Lions, Dom Bess would not have been called up. Bess has yet again proven himself to be a man for the big moment playing a large part in the victories at Newlands and St George's.

The Wanderers surface could be just the place for Jofra Archer to make his return, provided he can prove his fitness through the week.

England's biggest problem is that they only have XI slots in the team and sport a squad full of potential match-winners. Ollie Pope has given Joe Root's boys some much-needed backbone, and he should be a staple in the Test outfit for some time to come.

Verdict: England
The Proteas are in shambles, and Mark Boucher and company need more than a few weeks to turn things around.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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