Joe Root-led England have a history in sight as they take on Faf du Plessis’ South Africa in the final Test of the four-match series, starting from Friday in Manchester.The hosts have not won a Test series against Proteas on home soil since 1998, which means anything but a defeat in the final encounter will give them the trophy they were looking for 19 years.
England will be high on confidence after a dominant win in The Oval Test, where they crushed the opposition by 239 runs courtesy brilliant performances from all-rounders Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and debutante pacer Toby Roland-Jones.
England will once again be depending on current and former captains Root and Alastair Cook to provide platform from which the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Stokes and Ali can capitalize on. In the bowling department, the team management will be once again banking on the experience duo of veteran pacers Stuart Broad and James Anderson. Middle-order batsman David Malan is set to feature for the second time after failing to impress in his first Test.
For the visitors, things does not look as good as it looks for their opposition, as there were not much positive to take in the final game after humiliating defeat in the third Test.
However, Du Plessis’ men will be hoping to take lead from the fighting fourth innings century of Dean Elgar, which was the only rare positive from the last match. The team has already received a boost as all-rounder Vernon Philander is declared fit for the all-important encounter.
The team will be depending experienced duo of Hashim Amla and captain Du Plessis to come good at a crucial time, whereas Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Philander and Chris Morris compiled more than a potent attack.
The conditions at the venue is damp which is due to heavy rainfall in Manchester, which means it will be tough going for the batsman, whereas more rain is expected on the first two days of the match.