The home side England leads 4 match test series by 2-1 at the moment. The visitors South Africa has last opportunity to avoid the series loss by winning the last test and draw the series. Will England end 19-year wait for home series success against South Africa? or the visitors came back strongly and level the series 2-2? Fourth and final test match between England vs South Africa is scheduled to start at 11 AM Local | 3:30 PM IST on Friday, 4th August 2017.
England dominated in this home tour by winning T20I and ODI series against South Africa and also started the test series with a huge win by 211 runs at Lord’s. But, they faced a huge defeat at Trent Bridge as South Africa fought back in the series and won it by 340 runs in the second test. England players and captain faced lot of criticism after that, then they replied with their performances and earned 2nd victory in the series by defeating South Africa in the third test. Now they take lead by 2-1 and has very good opportunity to break 19-years stint by winning home series against South Africa. The new captain Joe Root led the team from the front by scoring runs at crucial stage of every test. He scored 190 runs in the first innings of first test. Also scored 160 runs in the next two tests. Lots of expectations on him and hope for lot more runs from his bat in each innings of this match.
Former Captain Alastair Cook has played one good innings in each tests on this series. He is yet to score a century, his highest was 88 runs in the first innings of 3rd test. Cook is most experienced test batsman of England and could come with century plus knocks in this game. Keep him in your fantasy teams. His partner Keaton Jennings yet to score half-century in the series. He scored only 91 runs in 6 innings. He will keep his place safe unless England adds extra bowling option. If they adds, Tom Westley possibly opens the innings in place of Jennings. Tom Westley scored 25 and 59 runs on his debut. He gets another chance to score lot more runs. Another debutant in that game, Dawid Malan failed to score runs on his debut and scored only 11 runs in 2 innings. He will get a game as he deserves the second chance.
Match winners Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali strengthen England’s middle order batting and also contributes with their bowling skills. Stokes named man of the match in the third test and Moeen adjusted as man of the match in the first test. Both of them deserves a place in fantasy teams. Jonny Bairstow plays wicket keeper’s role for England and he performs well with both bat and gloves work. Toby Roland-Jones had a dream debut in the last test. He picked 5 wickets in the first innings and 3 in the second. He claimed 8 wickets in the match and also scored 48 runs with a bat. He will keep his place and hope for another an impressive performances from him. Major bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson will lead the bowling attack as usual. If Keaton Jennings sits out for extra bowling option, then Steven Finn will get a chance in the XI.
SOUTH AFRICA :
After faced heavy defeat in the first game, South Africa leveled the series 1-1 with an historic win where they won by 340 runs margin. But failed to keep the momentum and lost the last test by 239 runs. Now they are 1-2 behind and has last opportunity to level the series when they meet England in the fourth and final test on Friday. Vernon Philander’s back problem gives worries to the team. Philander played major part in South Africa’s bowling unit in those 3 tests. He claimed 10 wickets in 6 innings and also contributed well with lower order batting. He undergo fitness test on Thursday evening, but South Africa will take final decision on Friday morning. Dean Elgar played well in some of innings. He scored 54, 2, 6, 80, 8 and 136 runs respectively in 6 innings. He has huge responsibility especially after his fighting century in the last innings.
Heino Kuhn played all 3 matches and scored only 78 runs in 6 innings. Coach and Captain backing him and that means he will keep his place in the side. He has plenty of records in his first class career. He may come with surprising performances in this test. Star batsman Hashim Amla scored half-centuries in both innings of second test and failed to score big in other two matches. He has huge responsibilities on his shoulders as he is the senior player at top of the order. Wicket keeper Quinton de Kock generally bats at no. 7 in tests, but he was promoted to no. 4 in this series. He scored two half-centuries in the series but yet to play big match winning knocks. Hopefully it would come in this final test.
Captain Faf du Plessis has scored 83 runs in 2 tests. He is the big match player, expects better performances in this game. Middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma played some handy knocks in the series. He will continue to play cameos. Chris Morris and Keshav Maharaj plays their part well. Maharaj picked 14 wickets and Morris claimed 8 wickets. Both of them contributed with bat as well. Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel are the major bowlers and they will keep their places safe.
KEY PLAYERS :
- Joe Root
- Alastair Cook
- Jonny Bairstow
- Ben Stokes
- Moeen Ali
- James Anderson
SOUTH AFRICA :
- Hashim Amla
- Dean Elgar
- Quinton de Kock
- Faf du Plessis
- Kagiso Rabada
- Keshav Maharaj
- Chris Morris
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. Alastair Cook, 2. Keaton Jennings / Steven Finn, 3. Tom Westley, 4. Joe Root, 5. Dawid Malan, 6. Jonny Bairstow, 7. Ben Stokes, 8. Moeen Ali, 9. Toby Roland-Jones, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson.
SOUTH AFRICA :
1. Dean Elgar, 2. Heino Kuhn, 3. Hashim Amla, 4. Quinton de Kock, 5. Faf du Plessis, 6. Temba Bavuma, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Keshav Maharaj, 9. Vernon Philander / Andile Phehlukwayo, 10. Kagiso Rabada, 11. Morne Morkel.