England vs South Africa: Hosts can lord it over Proteas again

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Time: 1100, 14/07/2017

Venue: Trent Bridge

TV: Sky Sports 2

South Africa will hope the arrival of captain Faf du Plessis can help them find the improvement they need to win the second Test against England in Nottingham.

Du Plessis missed the series opener due to the birth of his first child and would have had two good reasons for sleepless nights as his side crumbled to a 211-run defeat.

The match was wrapped up inside four days and although we expect a better showing from the Proteas at Trent Bridge, a home win at 31/50 has to be our England vs South Africa prediction for the second Test.

More of the same for England

England have chosen to stick with the same XI for the second Test despite the quick turnaround between the first two matches of the series.

Their seamers should still be feeling fresh after spinners Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson did most of the bowling on a turning pitch in the second innings.

James Anderson has not bowled much in training this week but captain Joe Root is not concerned, saying: “I think he’s just been smart with the way that he practises. He’s a senior player, he knows what he’s doing.”

The first Test could have been closer than the result suggested and Root is expecting a backlash from South Africa, saying: “They’re a side that pride themselves on coming back from defeats like last week.

“They’re a strong side, they’ve got a lot of experience and I expect them to be right on it first ball on Friday morning.”

South Africa started well at Lord’s, reducing England to 76-4 despite losing the toss, but lost an early wicket in both of their own innings as opener Heino Kuhn made just 10 runs in his two knocks.

That leads us to suggest the first wicket to fall for 34 runs or less at 17/20 is good value in our England vs South Africa betting tips.

Rabada blow for Proteas

South Africa will make at least two team changes as, along with the return of their skipper, they must also replace pace bowler Kagiso Rabada, who is serving a one-match ban for swearing last week.

“Obviously, we’re going to miss KG – an ability to bowl long spells fast, with a lot of energy, of course we’re going to miss that,” said fellow seamer Morne Morkel.

“You can’t lie about that … but it’s an opportunity for another guy to step into his place and put his hand up. We just need to put whatever happened in the last Test behind us, with KG, with everything, and just focus on Friday.”

Morkel and Vernon Philander are two pedigree Test seamers but without Rabada it may be a stretch to take 20 wickets.

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Tony has been a journalist for more than 25 years, with past positions including Press Association betting editor, Teletext Sport betting editor and Sport Newspapers deputy racing editor. A Manchester United and Salford Red Devils supporter, he spends much of his spare time walking his two pet greyhounds.