South Africa vs England Test Series Odds and Preview – Cricket Betting

England probably slight favourites to win in South Africa

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Preparations for an already daunting Test series in South Africa were thrown into disarray when illness forced England to downgrade their final prep match against South Africa A to a three-day friendly tour match with only 11 players batting or fielding at any point in time.

Seamers Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer and spinner Jack Leach all missed the tour opener against a South Africa Invitational XI earlier this week and continue to suffer with flu-like symptoms. Several other players and backroom staff have reported sick and England’s resources are clearly stretched at present and, with the afflicted effectively in quarantine, it will be a matter of batting practice over the next few days.

South Africa Form and Team News

South Africa look a team in transition, both on and off the field.
Jacques Kallis is the latest South Africa legend to join the national side’s backroom staff after being named as the team’s batting consultant for their summer. Former team-mates Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher have already been appointed as interim team director and head coach respectively in an attempt to revive the fortunes of the Proteas.
South Africa have lost their last two Test series, at home to Sri Lanka and away in India without winning a single match, and there is little love lost between the directors of Cricket South Africa and the players at the moment. The current mess will achieve critical mass if they lose the four-match series against an equally out-of-form England.
Kagiso Rabada will lead the attack for Faf du Plessis’ side in the Test series and will be backed up by Andile Phehlukwayo and Vernon Philander. But it is the batting line-up that is causing some concern. After du Plessis, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, there looks to be a lack of strength-in-depth and Temba Bavuma will miss at least the First Test at the Centurion.
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England Form and Team News

The virus that has rum amok through the England camp couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Hardly any of their front-line bowlers will go into the First Test fully primed. Broad and Archer have been among the worst affected and Ben Stokes was allowed to travel late so he could accept his BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Chris Woakes looks set for plenty of work, therefore, with James Anderson admitting he is not yet back up to speed following injury. England have drafted in Somerset duo Dominic Bess and Craig Overton as cover.
England white-washed Sri Lanka at this time last year but that proved a false dawn. If you discount the one-off Test match against Ireland in which they dug themselves out of a hole, Joe Root’s side haven’t won a series in 2019. They lost against an ordinary West Indies side in the Caribbean and only drew the Ashes against an Australia team that was hardly in top form. They then surrendered the First Test in New Zealand and could only draw the Second having looked well placed so there are clearly issues for Chris Silverwood to sort out.
The inconsistency of England’s top order must be a major headache but they have to stick with Rory Burns and leave the captain at number four. Joe Denly may have done enough to keep his place but he and his team-mates need to take some pressure off the bowlers.

South Africa vs England Test Series Betting

South Africa 11/8 31/20 11/8
Draw 3/1 7/2 7/2
England 11/8 6/5 5/4

South Africa vs England Test Head-to-Heads

South Africa have not won a home Test series against England on home soil since the start of the decade. England have won the two most recent series between the sides, both at home.

South Africa vs England Predictions

Both teams need a series victory to boost themselves up the ICC World Test Championship table – South Africa are currently bottom.
England are probably slight favourites on form and history but that fact is reflected in the betting and Joe Root’s team have generally been a friend to bookmakers over the last two years. William Hill are best odds on an away series victory at 11/8.
If pressed, betting on England’s top batsmen offers better value. Root will have the opportunity to spend time at the crease and his double hundred in the Second Test in New Zealand showed that he is still a class player when he concentrates. Root is 2/1 with Bet365 to be Top England batsman but Ben Stokes has also enjoyed facing the South African quickies in the past and is 6/1 with the same firm.

England-Drawn Series Double Chance