The visitors are 2-1 up in the South Africa v England series and they thoroughly deserve it. They’ve been the better side pretty much since the first ball of the second Test was bowled.
For the home team, with problems both on and off the pitch, this series isn’t over and a win in the Fourth Test – thereby subsequently levelling the series – wouldn’t be a bad result at all. But that’s easier said than done because, quite simply, they aren’t playing well. Their star names such as Kasigo Rabada, Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar are all having a quiet series. Quinton de Kock, the new ODI captain, has been excellent at times and pretty wasteful at others.
England came into this Series with a load of doubts of their own. But it’s amazing what winning a couple of Test matches can do. Right now, they’ll feel they can beat anyone.
Team News: South Africa
Faf du Plessis will probably be playing his final Test on home soil as the Series heads to the Wanderers in Johannesburg. Or at least his final one as captain. At 35 he’ll be feeling he’s had enough of the demands of Test cricket, the players currently at his disposal aren’t the best and that if he carries on in such poor form with the bat, he may not even be around for much longer just as a batsman.
Kasigo Rabada misses out after picking up another demerit point, which has led to a one Test match suspension.
As it happens, he hasn’t really been at his best so isn’t as much of a loss as he’d normally be. Lungi Ngidi could come in if he’s declared match fit, after being out for a few weeks. Or else South Africa may play an extra all-rounder in place of the fast bowler with Andile Phehlukwayo the more likely to get the nod. The third alternative is to hand a debut to left-arm pace bowler Beuran Hendricks.
Temba Bavuma could get a recall in the middle-order after scoring 180 in a domestic match.
Team News: England
As often happens with teams that are winning, they’re unlikely to make any changes.
The one exception could be bringing back Jofra Archer in place of Mark Wood. That would, however, be a little harsh on the latter. He bowled well without taking any wickets in the first innings and grabbed three in the Second as England chased victory. For good measure, he also smashed 42 off 23 balls as England went in search of quick runs when they batted first.
England’s middle order of Joe Denly, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and young Ollie Pope is starting to look strong and settled.
Venue for South Africa v England 4th Test: The Wanderers, Johannesburg
The Proteas have won their last two Tests played here, against Pakistan and Australia respectively.
But it doesn’t always turn out like that. There was a real mixed bag before those two wins with defeats to England and India, a draw against India back in 2013, and a win over Sri Lanka.
The wickets gets pretty tricky to bat on here as the game progresses, so it’s very much a case of batting first, if you win the toss.
Match Odds for South Africa v England
Let’s talk cricket betting free tips. Despite everything I’ve said about South Africa missing a key pace bowler and other important men being out of form, a price of 3.75 on the hosts is simply too big.
If they can bat first and somehow get to 300, they’ll be in control of the game because they know England will always have to bat last on a wearing pitch where spinner Keshav Maharaj could be big factor.
A less likely scenario is that England take their foot off the gas and become somewhat complacent. It could happen, though.
One thing is for sure. Du Plessis will demand 100% from his players given the circumstances. So, a win for South Africa at 3.75 rates a good satta.
South Africa First Innings Top Batsman
Quinton de Kock has copped criticism for some of his dismissals; even this very preview has slightly put him down!
But he’s still the second highest runscorer in the Series after Ben Stokes. De Kock has notched three fifties in six innings, proof of his consistency. He’s a wonderful player no doubt. The problem is that the South Africa management will be frustrated that he doesn’t turn 70s into 100s and 100s into 150s, given his talent.
And 80 odd could well be enough to win the top batsman market here. After all, his main rivals like Dean Elgar and Du Plessis are struggling a bit. At 5.0 he looks a great satta and that completes our cricket betting tips for this match.
Recommended bets for South Africa v England
Back Quinton de Kock to be South Africa first innings top batsman @ 5.0 with Bet365
Back South Africa to win the match @ 3.75 with Bet365