England’s Test cricket revival was well and truly ended last week when they were smashed by South Africa in the 1st Test at Lord’s. So with the 2nd Test starting this week, we look ahead and see if England can bounce back in our free cricket betting picks.
South Africa defeated England by an innings and 12 runs in the 1st Test. That wasn’t just a defeat for England. It was an absolute thrashing. So with South Africa now top of the World Test Championship and England looking to bounce back from their first defeat after four wins in a row, the 2nd Test promises to be a cracker.
Will South Africa continue their remarkable form of 2022 and keep its foot on the throats of the English? Or was the defeat just a blip for England, and this week at Old Trafford, Ben Stokes’ team will return to the swashbuckling form of recent weeks that saw them hammer New Zealand 3-0 and also convincingly beat India in the rearranged Test from 2021?
- What; England v South Africa 2nd Test
- Where; Old Trafford, Manchester, England
- When; Thursday 25th, August – Monday 29th, August 2022
- Start Time; 6 am ET
*South Africa leads the best of three series 1-0
Has England’s Bubble Already Burst?
Hosts England came into this series totally revitalized and looking like one of the most in-form teams in world cricket.
In a little over three months and four Test matches, the combination of new coach Brendon McCullum, and new captain Ben Stokes, had turned England from a shambolic bunch of players with no direction into a fearless group who would take on anybody playing attacking cricket.
The change and turnaround in form were remarkable. England was no longer scratching around, not knowing whether to stick or twist. There was only one option, attack!
And it was working so well. Their wins over New Zealand were followed by a record run-chase over India. England was a completely different team.
In the 1st Test against South Africa, it all went wrong!
A message from Brendon McCullum…
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) August 19, 2022
South Africa Series Win over India was a Turning Point
As for South Africa, well, they didn’t come into this series in bad form themselves. They started the year by beating India 2-1 at home. That was followed up with a drawn series away in New Zealand (1-1), and they then comfortably defeated Bangladesh 2-0 back in South Africa.
It was the series win over India that gave the South Africans belief. They lost the 1st Test by 113 runs. So to come back and complete a series win against the nation widely regarded as the best international team in the world was some achievement.
After that, in New Zealand, the South Africans were mauled in the 1st Test. They lost it by an innings and 276 runs. This is more what we expected from South Africa, and a win in the 2nd Test for the Kiwis looked inevitable.
Not a bit of it. South Africa showed the same grit and determination that saw them overhaul India just a few weeks earlier. They won the 2nd Test by 198 runs and squared the series.
And it’s these fighting qualities from South Africa that they have brought to the table in England. The same grit and determination, along with plenty of backbone. They quickly worked out that England’s game plan of attack, attack, attack, had flaws, and they brutally exposed those flaws in the 1st Test, winning it by an innings and 12 runs.
Who is Favourite to Win the 2nd Test; England v South Africa?
The best cricket betting sites are sticking with England. Although it’s tighter than in the 1st Test.
In three-way betting, BetOnline has England at +105, South Africa at +175, and a draw (no result) at +375.
|England v South Africa 2nd Test Betting|
England v South Africa Cricket Betting Picks
A lot of the outcome of this match will depend on who wins the toss, and it might be best to wait for this before following our cricket betting picks. Why? Because England’s previous four wins all came batting second. Against South Africa, England had to bat first.
Under this new regime, England has enjoyed chasing. They haven’t seen any total as too much, and they have chased down scores in the 4th innings of all four matches comfortably.
As for South Africa, they batted second in all three Tests against India, losing one and winning two. They batted first in both Tests against New Zealand, losing one (heavily) and winning one.
Bangladesh isn’t quite up to the record of those two opponents. But for the record, South Africa batted first in both their two wins over the Tigers.
In short, South Africa looks better equipped to win different types of matches. England looks better when they bat second. So for my betting pick, I’m suggesting that we wait for the toss to take place, and if England is batting first, bet on South Africa.
England’s batsmen haven’t handled the pressure well over the past couple of years. And even in the four matches, they won this year, they’ve been in all kinds of trouble during their 1st Innings.
And with this South African team, when they get on top, they look tough and ruthless enough not to let England back into the match.