After coming away with nothing from the two white ball series, England now have the chance to show how far they’ve come in the red ball game under the Stokes/McCullum leadership team. The ODI series finished 1-1 after an abandoned decider at Headingley, while South Africa came from 1-0 down to clinch the T20 series to inflict further woe on Jos Buttler’s early years as captain.
England were forced into a change of leadership after faltering to defeat in the West Indies back in April, though since Joe Root was replaced with Ben Stokes, they’ve won all four matches against New Zealand (3) and India, with their attacking brand of cricket making the world sit up and take note. It’s the first time since 2018 that England have won four successive test outings, and they’ll take great confidence in that against a travelling Proteas side who have often struggled on the road.
Indeed, South Africa have now lost 10 of their last 13 away tests, a run which started in their last visit to England with defeats at the Oval and Old Trafford, while two of those wins came away in the West Indies in a series they were expected to win with minimal fuss.
With that said, South Africa have a good historic record at Lord’s as while England won the most recent meeting here back in 2017, that was the hosts’ first win over The African side at the home of cricket since 1960. A lot can change in a few years though, and the last time South Africa won here was in 2012, so none of their current squad have ever won a test match at this historic ground.
England To Win
England have now lost just one of their last five outings here at Lord’s, and with Temba Bavuma out injured for the visitors, it’s hard to see how England’s batting line-up isn’t going to be too strong. Jonny Bairstow is in electric form, as are Joe Root and Ben Stokes, while Ollie Pope is proving handy too.
Alex Lees and Zak Crawly will be looking to find some form as the opening pair, and with the aforementioned four following in behind, it somewhat takes the pressure off them, and that could work in their favour.
With overcast conditions expected, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson will likely make the ball sing, an aspect of the game the South African batsmen have struggled with recently.
The toss will be important, with the side winning likely electing to bowl and giving themselves a 4th innings chase, which has proven a winning formula in recent games here. England look the more complete side at the moment, and should they win the toss it’s hard to see them losing this contest.
ENGLAND TO WIN
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