After two Tests between England and South Africa, the score in the series is locked at 1-1, with the tourists heading into the third Test looking to inflict more uncertainty into the home sides ranks. South Africa profited from a lacklustre battling display by England to win the second Test at Trent Bridge, eventually winning by a massive 340 runs. With both teams hoping to find their very best form at The Oval, with the match getting underway on Thursday morning, many punters are expected to be backing their favourites ahead of the encounter. With the odds too close to call with some bookmakers, let’s take a detailed look at the two teams, as well as our top betting tip for the match.
England looked to have kick-started their summer with a 211-run win over South Africa at Lords just a matter of weeks ago, however they fell back down to earth with a bump last time around, with the tourists taking full advantage of weaknesses within their betting line-up. Both Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance struggled once again, with the latter set to be replaced for the upcoming test due to injury. Essex batsmen Tom Westley could well earn a first cap, with many expecting the 28-year-old to come in at no.3 in the batting. Country team mate of former England skipper Alastair Cook, Westley averages over 50 so far this season. Elsewhere, Middlesex’s Dawid Malan has also been called-up to the squad.
Following an altercation with Ben Stokes, South African bowler Kagiso Rabada could well return against England for the third Test, with the 22-year-old the youngest man inside the ICC world’s top ten Test bowler rankings. South Africa are currently ranked as the second best Test side in the world behind India, with their opponents England sitting in fourth. Despite this, the tourists headed into the tournament as underdogs. England lost 20 wickets in just 96.1 overs in the second Test, and South Africa will be hoping for a similar bowling display come the end of the week.
Top Betting Tip
Neither side has played their best throughout the series so far, despite two convincing victories to date, meaning that the team that can find their feet the quickest at The Oval is likely to have a good chance of victory. England will be looking to make the most of the conditions in South London, and a success at the coin toss could give them a much-needed edge. As a result, our top betting tip for the match is to back an England victory, which can be found at best odds of 11/10 at William Hill.