South Africa look to take unassailable lead against England at The Oval

Pacer Kagiso Rabada returns after serving his one-match ban as England and South Africa are ready to battle it out and to take the lead in the four-match series, with the third Test starting at The Oval on Thursday.

Joe Root-led unit claimed comfortable victory to take 1-0 lead in the series, courtesy brilliant first-innings century for the skipper himself and all-round performance by Moeen Ali.In the second match, Proteas made a grand comeback to make it 1-1 by defeating hosts in a thumping display, where all-rounder Vernon Philander starred with both bat and ball.

In what will be the 100th match at the venue, England are expected to make as many as two changes from the playing eleven of the last match, where Tom Westley is expected to start in place of injured Gary Ballance, and Toby Roland-Jones is expected to partner James Anderson and Stuart Broad to complete the pace attack.

The team will be heavily depending on captain Root to lead from the front in the batting department, where the experience duo of Broad, Anderson will share the burden in the bowling department.On the other hand, Faf du Plessis’-led unit, who have already released veteran all-rounder JP Duminy ahead of the all-important encounter, is set to make only one change from the victorious team of the previous match, where Rabada will come in for Duanne Olivier.

The team will be once again depending on experienced Hashim Amla, Du Plessis and Dean Elgar to provide platform for the big score, whereas in the bowling department, the team management will be hoping that Chris Morris, Morne Morkel, Philander and Rabada will prove more than enough for the hosts.

There is plenty of grass left on the pitch, but it is expected to be trimmed come the match day, but some assistance for pacers seems likely as the track was covered for most of Wednesday due to rain.

There are some rain expected on first and fourth day, but the rest of the days should provide enough time for the match to produce result.

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