The bullring is gearing up to host the final test of the series with England 2-1 up after their impressive victory at Port Elizabeth. Hopefully England has turned a corner after putting together two good away performances for the first time in a long while.
In the last few weeks there has been some grumblings about the form of star bowler Jorfa Archer and whether he is fitting into the team environment. For me the reports about Archer on and off the field are total rubbish! This is a guy that’s taken three five wicket halls in his first seven test matches, Andrew Flintoff managed three five wicket halls in his entire career.
In New Zealand Archer bowled with the Kookaburra ball for the first time ever so he’s just getting use to working with it. Videos of the fast bowler bowling in the nets have been released this last couple of days and he looks to be fit and bowling quickly. He should enjoy the conditions at The Wanderers as it’s sure to be the spiciest wicket of the tour.
As for the England batting line-up well there has been talk of when to move Ollie Pope up the order. To be honest I don’t think any decision on this has to be made till the back end of the English summer. Denly will have the rest of the winter to prove himself in the number three position and if he hasn’t by the time Burns is fit they should go with Burns, Sibley and Crawley at the top. At some point before the next Ashes they will want to see Tom Banton bat at six but there’s no need to rush things.
For the hosts life is somewhat more complicated after a string of bad results, a kolpak talent drain and their star bowler being banned. Faf du Plessis has already confirmed that Bavuma has been selected for the game in place of Hamaza in a bid to sure up the top order.
Faf’s days as captain are surely numbered but he will still want to try and square the series and rescue some championship points. It’s hard to imagine that a side led by Mark Boucher could put in an equally disappointing display as to the one at Port Elizabeth.
So then there is still plenty to play for this week in one of the most iconic and famous grounds in the world on what promises to be a lively pitch. So strap yourselves in because this probably won’t go the five days.
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