England v South Africa
Thursday 8 August, 11:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Jonny Bairstow is out of the match and the T20 World Cup with a broken leg. That opens the door for Harry Brook to make a Test debut.
It should be a relatively simple slot into the No 5 position for Brook. Ben Duckett has been called up to the squad but it would be strange not to trust the man who has been around all summer waiting for his chance.
Ollie Robinson's return to the side in the success at Old Trafford was a timely reminder of what a talent he is with the ball. The Oval surface has historically favoured bowlers of his style.
Probable XI: Crawley, Lees, Pope, Root, Brook, Stokes, Foakes, Robsinson, Broad, Leach, Anderson
With wet weather forecast South Africa look certain to abandon their two-spinner strategy. It cost them in Manchester and they have the perfect excuse to switch back.
That means Marco Jansen should come back into the XI at the expense of Simon Harmer. Another change sees Rassie van der Dussen miss out with an injured finger.
Van der Dussen's spot will go to either Khaya Zondo or Ryan Rickleton. Rickleton is favourite but Zhondo may yet force out Aiden Markram.
Possible XI: Elgar, Erwee, Petersen, Markram, Rickleton, Verreynne, Jansen, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje, Ngidi
Showers are forecast for the first two days at The Oval. The Met office has the chance of rain at 50% and 40% respectively through the bulk of the day.
Cloud cover and moisture should assist the bowlers when they do take to the field, which is perfectly in keeping with the south London track's recent reputation.
There has been only one score of 350 or more across the last 15 innings. Last summer India and England managed 191 and 290 respectively in the first dig. India won the match.
Shorting either side in the first-innings would make sense given the batting frailties displayed by both teams in the first two tests - neither of which went the distance. Selling at 270s and 280s is fine. The runs market is here.
How to play
The draw price is shortening up nicely as more become aware of the weather forecast. Currently it's at 3.3512/5. We're hoping to lay at 3.02/1.
It's the most sensible pre-toss wager. Going against grim weather forecasts consistently pays off in England. Hell, we reckon that rain and cloud makes life even harder for the batters.
And we don't have to worry about which unit gets rolled batting first. England are 2.245/4 and South Africa 3.3512/5. Bet the match odds here.
>England v South Africa analysis on Cricket...Only Bettor