England v South Africa First Test Betting Tips, Preview and Predictions
July 04, 2017
England v South Africa Betting Tips
When the teams met in 2015/16, South Africa were on the wrong end of 2-1 home upset, much to their bemusement. Even more recently, England handed them defeats in a ODI and a T20 series. It must be considered that these sides will not be the strong sides we know them as being with both sides missing big players; more-so the away side.
The most high profile of talents who will miss out is South Africa captain Faf du Plessis who won’t take part in the First Test due to the birth of his first child. Due to a ‘difficult birth’, du Plessis will only return to the United Kingdom once he and his wife have recuperated. Dean Elgar will captain the team in du Plessis’s place.
South Africa will be a tad weak in the batting department with AB de Villiers also absent – possibly unwilling to play Test cricket ever again, hinting at retirement. To be truthful, de Villiers has declined slightly over time and his attitude appeared reclusive during the Champions Trophy. Dale Steyn is missing on top of the aforementioned duo and his pace bowling ability is a huge loss, arguably bigger than de Villiers. The South Africans are clearly massively short of experienced pro’s in their ranks and a shadow of the former World number one side of two years ago.
As for England, Alastair Cook ended his reign as captain, so Joe Root will lead England in this series. Cook himself remains in the batting along with 27 year old Gary Ballance who has earned a recall to the squad. His impressive County Championship season has afforded Ballance the chance under Trevor Bayliss following horrific displays against Bangladesh last year. Haseeb Hameed on the other hand has been overlooked for his poor Lancashire form.
Stuart Broad is fit due to an ‘ingenious’ strapping of his left foot which allowed for a swift recovery from a torn muscle. Broad and fast-bowling partner James Anderson have been a terrific pair for a long time but neither have had the greatest year, leading many to wonder when the duo will officially be classed as on the decline. England have managed to rest Adil Rashid though Chris Woakes is missing through injury.
The reality is that South Africa’s diminished squad makes them deserved outsiders in the betting, even though they still have a little bit of quality to compete. Though their weakness lies mostly in the batting department, the likes of Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma are healthy options for a lessened side. Bavuma himself is a good outsider bet to be top South African Batsman with usual favourite du Plessis absent.
On paper, the First Test still looks a little bit flat for the visitors and England appear the logical bet at odds of 10/11 with bookmaker Coral – though the same may not be said for the full series.