England have won the four test series, 2-0 up after 3 games and the teams head for a “dead rubber” at Centurion an hour north of Johannesburg starting on Friday

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South Africa to win at 13/8 William Hill

SuperSport Park is one of the newer Test venues in South Africa, one of the quicker pitches on the test circuit, it should produce a similar type of game to that seen at Johannesburg. The ball comes onto the bat, the wicket doesn’t usually suit spinners and scoring can be fast as the outfield is level with a new drainage system.

For South Africa apart from the one innings in Cape Town in blameless batting conditions the top order has been below par, over-reliant on Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers and to a lesser extent Dean Elgar with the likes of Stiaan van Zyl and Faf du Plessis out of touch.

South Africa have also missed injured quicks Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, with only Rabada of ther less experienced bowlers performing consistently well.

Meanwhile a few of England’s key players have been crucial notably Joe Rot now averaging 55 in tests, Ben Stokes who on his day is a match winner with bat and ball, and Stuart Broad capable of ripping apart any batting line-up.

England are 2-0 despite few runs at the top of the order from Cook and below par performances from Anderson. Two of their “big players” have hardly contributed. This speaks to how quickly they have progressed and how far behind South Africa are in their rebuilding process post Smith and Kallis and approaching Test life without Steyn.

For Pretoria, Finn is out injured and could be the only change from the last Test for England. It is more complicated for South Africa, as you would expect 2-0 down. Steyn misses the final test with a view to getting him ready for the limited-overs matches that follow. That leaves five other fast bowling options from the current squad: Morkel, Morris, Rabada, Abbott and Viljoen. Both Viljoen and Abbott could find themselves left out if the selectors opt to bring back specialist spinner Piedt.

In the batting line-up it is likely there will be a change at the top. Van Zyl who is averaging 15.60 as an opener and has five single figure scores from his last nine test innings, could make way for Stephen Cook who has been brought into the squad

Finally, having been underdogs for first three tests and won two of them, England are now marginal favourites for the fourth Test at 6/4, South Africa 13/8 and the Draw 3/1.

England are saying all the right things about wanting to win 3-0 but the value is now out of the England price. The question is whether we can back South Africa?. To do so we need to think that the top order can fire, and that looks reliant on Amla and De Villiers but this is the best home venue for the hosts, with nine wins in their last ten games at Supersport.

Recommendation

South Africa to win at 13/8 William Hill