This week sees the 3rd and final cricket Test match between England and South Africa, and it’s fair to say whoever wins the toss will have a big impact on the outcome of this match, and with it, the series. Here, we explain in more detail in our free cricket betting picks article.
The scene is set. It’s a best of three series, and both sides have won one game apiece. The winner of this match walks away with the series victory, so it is more than just a Test match.
- What; England v South Africa 3rd Test
- Where; The Oval, London, England
- When; Thursday, September 8th, 2022 – Monday, September 12th, 2022
- Start Time; 6 am ET
*Best of three series currently stands at 1-1
The Oval has witnessed many series-deciders over the years. So fans, staff, media, etc, all know the ground will be rocking across the duration of the scheduled five-day match (although neither of the first two games has got anywhere near a fifth day).
|3rd Test Betting; England v South Africa 2022|
More sportsbooks offering odds on the 3rd Test can be found on our best online sportsbooks page.
England v South Africa; The Series So Far
The series so far has been fairly odd, to say the least. In the 1st Test, South Africa won by an innings and 12 runs. In the 2nd Test, England won by an innings and 85 runs.
For those who don’t follow Test cricket very closely, to lose by an innings is an absolute thrashing. Both sides bat twice in Test cricket, and every time a team bats, it’s called an innings.
So if a side wins by an innings, they have only batted once. And in that innings, the team that won would have scored more runs than the losing team did in both their innings combined.
The scores in the two Test matches so far:-
1st Test – England bat first
- Eng (1st innings) – 165 runs
- SA (1st innings) – 326 runs
- Eng (2nd innings) -149 runs
South Africa won by an innings and 12 runs.
SOUTH AFRICA WIN
— Lord's Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) August 19, 2022
2nd Test – South Africa bat first
- SA (1st innings) – 151 runs
- Eng (1st innings) – 415 runs
- SA (2nd innings) – 179 runs
England won by an innings and 85 runs.
Have you spotted the theme yet? Yes, both teams who batted first lost heavily. Now, this is why the toss on Thursday morning is uber-critical. Whoever bats first, is the team to avoid (in my view).
The conditions for batting on the first morning of both Test matches were difficult. Now, this doesn’t excuse the batting collapses endured by both teams. In the history of Test cricket, there have been thousands of times that the conditions for batting on the opening morning of a Test match were difficult.
The difference is, back in the past, teams dropped anchor. They left the ball and survived the session, hoping to lose two to three batters at the most. These days, teams go after the ball in a more attacking manner, and it leads to batting collapses as we’ve witnessed in the opening two Test matches of this series.
T20 cricket plays a part in this. Batters these days are programmed to attack. In years gone by (before T20 came along), batters were taught to survive first, and attack second.
England v South Africa; 3rd Test Team News
England originally named the same squad to play in the 3rd Test that they had used in the 1st and 2nd Test matches. They would most probably have kept the same XI on the playing roster that won the 2nd Test.
England batter Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the third Test against South Africa and the T20 World Cup after sustaining a lower limb injury in a freak accident while playing golf on Friday.
More to follow.#BBCCricket
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) September 2, 2022
That was until Friday morning, when news broke that Jonny Bairstow had suffered a freak injury (playing golf) and was not only out of the 3rd Test, but also the upcoming 2022 T20 World Cup.
Bairstow has been instrumental in England’s Test resurgence this (English) summer and his absence will leave a gaping hole in this team.
As for South Africa, they have a full complement of players to pick from but may make changes after the loss at Old Trafford.
One tactical change they may make is leaving out one of the two spinners they played in the last Test, in favor of one of their exceptionally quick, fast bowlers.
England v South Africa Betting Picks
In the 2nd Test, South Africa was +175 with best cricket betting sites. For the 3rd Test, they are now +250, as a result of the mauling they got at Old Trafford.
As for England, there is not much difference. They were +105 for the 2nd Test, and they are +110 for the 3rd.
Where there does seem to be a significant difference is in the odds for a draw (no result). For the 2nd Test, the draw was +375. It has been cut to just +240 for the 3rd Test. This is because there is rain forecast for some of the five scheduled days.
The truth is though, five days probably won’t be needed. The batting of both these teams isn’t great, and it’s highly probable that if three to three and a half days of play is possible, someone will win the match.
Both sides might bat properly, but that’s fairly unlikely. England’s mindset will also be to go for broke to get the win. They will be prepared to risk losing to try and force a win.
Therefore, I feel the draw is a long shot, and it’s worth taking the risk and betting on a team to win outright. The cricket betting pick for this match is simple. Wait for the toss on Thursday morning, and whoever is bowling first, wager on them to win!