About the Match
A 10-days long break would have certainly helped the hosts to move on from the 340-runs thrashing they received at Trent Bridge. They maintained their consistency of losing their way after a fabulous start in a test series. The two teams now meet at the Oval on 27th July 2017 in a quest to take upper hand in the series. It is 100th test at the venue and with the series poised at crucial juncture coupled with the essence of special occasion, we expect a nail biting encounter this time around.
England will take inspiration from their win in the first game where they trounced the Proteas in a one-sided match. Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow did extremely well, but failed to weave their magic in the second outing.
Trent Bridge was a test affair which England would like to forget as quickly as possible. Liam Dawson’s selection raised a lot of eyebrows and it would be interesting to see if he gets a chance at the Oval as well. With Mark Wood ruled out of the test, Tom Westley and Toby Roland-Jones are set to debut in this match. We might well see Dawid Malan making his debut considering his recent performances in shortest format of the game.
With South Africa looking in fine form, England will have their work cut out. Given the way South Africa performed in the previous match, South Africa will have to play out of their skins.
South Africa's fortunes suddenly changed with Faf du Plessis taking over the reigns from Dean Elgar. It was arguably their first victory which packed a punch since their arrival on English soil. While a win would have boosted their morale, Rabada's return to the side will have a multiplying effect. Duanne Oliver was perhaps the only weak link in the South African lineup post second Test and Rabada's return would fix that too, at least on paper.
Faf du Plessis's captaincy was instrumental in changing the fortunes for South Africa. First, dropping Duminy was a brave decision which paid South Africa well. Excellent captaincy followed by a gritty fifty outlined the return of du Plessis. Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, and Dean Elgar have shown glimpses of getting into the groove and conditions at the Oval will suit their style of batting. Temba Bavuna adds to the already strong batting lineup when in rhythm.
Bowling rests on the shoulders of Vernon Philander, Chris Morris and Morne Morkel. Keshav Maharaj's spin has been vital in getting breakthroughs in middle overs and providing rest time to the quickies. South Africa appears to have realised that there was nothing wrong with their team expect the basic mistakes they were committing. With newly found confidence, this Protean lineup could be at their dangerous best in the third test beginning on Thursday.
After the hammering the visitors received in the first test and during the tour prior to that, a one-sided win was a lightyear away from what everyone expected. Their strong and balanced lineup was ably guided was Faf du Plessis who had a calming effect right from the outset. Considering the way they played and the absence of few key players from English lineup we expect the Proteas to emerge on top once again.