England v South Africa
Tuesday 18 July, 13:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
De Kock's rate dwindling
Jannie Malan looks set to open the batting for South Africa. If he does well it will be seen as a breakthrough series because of English bias. The truth is that Malan has already established himself as one of the world's best.
Malan has scored runs against a variety of opposition in differing conditions. He made a century on his second match against Australia in Bloemfontein, whilst his third came against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Pleasingly, he has tuned up nicely. A century (103) against Lions in a warm-up came off 116 balls at a strike rate of 88.
There are few doubts that he can adjust to English conditions, not that they differ that much from back home. On an under-19 ODI tour to England in 2014, Malan hit four half-centuries in five matches.
The 4/1 from Sportsbook that he top scores is a wrong price on how often he wins and where he bats so it's a straightforward value wager.
We don't expect Malan to go shot-for-shot with opening partner Quinton de Kock. De Kock's returns have dwindled in the last three years, meaning even a likely boosted 11/4 is to be swerved.
Heinrich Klaasen does give an edge at 15/2 by 1.8%. He could be a very dangerous player throughout the series for England's bowlers. But we'll be cheeky and book an in-play wager from 14s.
Top SA bat wins/matches
De Kock 3 t/14
Van der Dussen 3/16
Top SA bat wins/matches
Ngidi 2 3t/13
Maharaj 3 2t/17
Visitors have six appeal
England average almost a whole six more per match than South Africa since the last World Cup. England's mark is 5.7 and South Africa 4.7.
On those numbers, England may well be considered value at 8/13 for most sixes with South Africa 17/10. But considering the respective form of the two teams, there a a smidge of a chance for the Saffers.
The hosts were not as dangerous against India, with the average falling to 5.3. And with David Miller and Klaasen combining in the middle-order for South Africa, the gap could be reduced.
Miller and Klaasen have not played together that much in the last three years for their country. The pair hit five sixes between them in the first warm-up against the Lions. Klaasen hit five on his own in the second. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Bairstow needs boost
There are slim pickings on win rates for big-name players on the top England bat market. Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jason Roy have two wins between them in a combined 32 innings.
Not surprisingly, then, none of them rate value. Root is 3/1 and Roy 7/2. Stokes is yet to be priced although we'd expect 9/2.
Unfortunately Jonny Bairstow's three-game blank against India means his edge on win rate has disappeared. There's only 0.1% of a gap with Sportsbook's 11/4 but it's not in our favour. If he's boosted to 3/1 we'll play.
Phil Salt could replace Roy as opener so the 9/2 is a bet purely on batting order. Money back if he doesn't play.
Top England bat wins/matches
S Curran 1/8