Ed Hawkins previews the final match from Johannesburg on Sunday with England needing the win to avoid series defeat
"England are unbalanced and their attack looks heavily reliant on finding swing. Chris Woakes, the Currans, Chris Jordan are much of a muchness"
South Africa v England
Sunday 9 February, 08:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Ngidi should return
South Africa were frustrated by the weather in Durban as, in the little play possible, they had made a strong start. Reeza Hendricks had found his range and they were ticking along quite nicely at 71 for two in the 12th.
It could also prove to be bad news for left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, who came in for debut at the expense of Lungi Ngidi. The pacer is being carefully managed after injury problems so he could be unleashed again.
In a full series, South Africa may have wished to have a look at Janne Malan, possibly for JJ Smuts or David Miller, but the only switch they are likely to make is the return of Ngidi.
Possible XI De Kock, Hendricks, Bavuma, van der Dussen, Smuts, Miller, Phehlukwayo, Hendricks, Shamsi, Sipamla, Ngidi
England retain faith
England captain Eoin Morgan made a point of saying that everyone who played in the defeat at Newlands would get an opportunity to put that right in Durban. It would be a surprise if he had a change of heart.
From the point of view of player management, he is right. But that doesn't mean the selection is correct. England are unbalanced and their attack looks heavily reliant on finding swing. Chris Woakes, the Currans, Chris Jordan are much of a muchness.
There is also little, or no, logic to playing Tom Banton at No 6, a highly specialised finishing role. Matt Parkinson, the Lancashire spinner ludicrously criticised one over into his 50-over career for bowling too slow, should get a run of games.
Possible XI Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan, Denly, Banton, S Curran, Woakes, T Curran, Jordan, Parkinson
Bowlers in chargeh2>
There have only been five day-night matches at The Wanderers in the last ten years. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first) read: 289-2/163-262-2/358-1/190-1. In six day matches, runs have flowed. Four times has a team passed 300 or more. South Africa made 439 for two against West Indies in 2015. Last year there were two low scores - the hosts' 164 against Pakistan and Sri Lanka's 231.
Listen to Ed Hawkins and CricViz's Freddie Wilde on the powers of Lungi Ngidi? This week's episode of Cricket...Only Bettor
Hosts strong trade chance
South Africa are 6/42.54 with England 5/81.63. The price is beginning to get up on England, as more become convinced of their over-reliance on the Roy-Bairstow axis and a weak bowling attack.
There is nothing wrong with expecting South Africa to have a period of dominance strong enough to justify a trade to skinny favourites. The ease with which Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma milked the bowling in Cape Town was alarming for the tourists. We're not sure where they're suddenly going to find the x-factor from.
The forecast is not great. We expect the start to be delayed by rain before a dry spell. Rain is likely to return for the second dig, further reducing overs and target. There is a probability of consistent interruptions in the second innings. Completed mat market is expected to be busy.
Strokemakers to the fore
De Kock has a decent record at Jo'burg - 273 runs in six. But he has some way to match the eye-watering numbers AB De Villiers produced here. A massive 609 runs in eight innings, including two tons and three fifties. With the track often rewarding the gun strokemakers, De Kock is hardly a mug wager at 23/10 for top South Africa bat.
By the same token, Roy and Bairstow should be happy to be there. Roy is 3/1 and Bairstow 7/2. If your rationale (and a right one) is that Joe Root is an awful price at 11/4, both are value. It should be said that overs reduction obviously assists openers for honours.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Trade South Africa 6/42.54 to 8/111.74