About the Match
England won the third test against South Africa by 7 wickets to take the series 2-0; the two teams will face each other for the 4th Test at Centurion that starts on 22nd January. The hosts will look for a face-saving win here with a better performance and are likely to make some changes to achieve that; England on the other had are ecstatic with their change in fortunes and would be eager to continue with their winning momentum. It needs to be seen which team rises up to the occasion and plays to its strengths over the coming weekend.
AB de Villiers took over the reins from Amla after the second test but failed to lead his side to a much-needed win; his batting was not up to the mark and will need to find inspiration within to succeed here. They have a strong batting outfit with players like Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock; Stiaan van Zyl didn’t impress with the bat and he may be replaced by debutante batsman Stephen Cook.
JP Duminy’s all-rounder skills and his recent match-winning performances in the domestic circuit gives him the edge to feature in the middle order; AB de Villiers will have to choose the best in talent and experience to come out all guns blazing as a team. The bowlers performed very well in the last game with the young Kagiso Rabada picking up 5 wickets in the first innings and Morkel showing his abilities yet again with a 3-wicket haul. Viljoen and Chris Morris provide variety to the attack and will need to step up to their responsibilities to help the team overcome the English batting line-up.
With speedsters like Dale Steyn and Philander being absent, they will depend on Morkel’s wicket-taking abilities; Rabada has filled in some big shoes to provide the team with great hope. The batting performance is worrisome and unless they execute the game plan to perfection, they could be looking at a complete whitewash.
They stunned the hosts in the 3rd test by getting them all-out for a humiliating 83 runs in the second innings; Stuart Broad conjured up some tricks to register an amazing 6-17 in 12 overs and he definitely packs a punch, much to the misery of South African batsmen. Along with James Anderson and Steve Finn, who picked up three wickets each and Stokes who claimed 5 wickets, the pace attack looks well placed to outwit the hosts yet again.
Joe Root scored a brilliant 110, helping the team post 323 runs in reply to South Africa’s 313 in the first innings; Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow continue to stabilize the innings in the middle order while Alastair Cook seems to be coming into his elements with the bat as he scored a well-made 43 in the 2nd innings.
They have proved themselves with victories in two tests here and with an in-form batting and bowling squad, England looks well set to triumph yet again.
South Africa might be down on morale but they definitely have the skills to bounce back; on the other hand England is flying high with confidence and look better placed to win the last test