About the Match
We have seen a series of topsy-turvy events happening in the tournament so far and as we move into the final Test, we expect nothing different. South Africa will take on England in the final test of the series which is currently being led by England 2-1. The contest will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester on 4th of August 2017. South Africa learned a lot from their loss in the first Test to topple the home side comprehensively. England bounced back strongly in the third Test to gain back the advantage and won the match by over a margin of 200 runs. Can South Africa learn their lessons from the third game? Well! Only time will tell.
The statistics of how English performances have been in the final match of the test series will be haunting the side as well as the team management. They haven't won the final test match of any series since the beginning of 2014. Furthermore, they've won consecutive Tests of a series just thrice in two years.
Debutants Tom Westley and Roland-Jones were impressive in the third match of the series, but despite a colossal victory, England have a few areas where they can improve. Although he got some runs under his belt in the last game, Jennings is yet to play an innings of substance. Dawid Malan's test debut wasn't as good as it was in the shortest format of the game.
Moeen Ali's role is under the scrutiny considering his batting position. Overall, English team looks good on paper with a few dark spots here and there.
After a gigantic step in the second match, South Africa have again drifted back to where they were after the first test. They've plenty of problems to ponder upon with their batting being the most important to be addressed. The Protean batsmen clearly looked devoid of any plan as they lost seven wickets on second day's evening. Dean Elgar has been in fine form and has a hundred to his name, the only by any South African batsmen in last five Tests.
While Philander has recovered from illness, his back problems have clawed back to haunt him. It would be a huge setback for the visitors if he fails to clear the fitness Test considering the way he's batted in the competition so far. Bavuma has been lightning in the field and the same has reflected in his batting as well.
All in all, in spite of an excellent team on paper, the Proteas lack confidence which has knocked them out in two games of the series. They'd have to perform out of their skins against a lineup which is pumped up by a massive win in their last match.
Given the facts and figures, it's not going to be easy for South Africa. England haven't lost a Test here in around fifteen years and Joe Root is a run-machine at this ground. He has scored at an average of 141 at Old Trafford. South Africa surely have the capability, but England with excellent numbers at this ground are favorites to wrap up the series in style.