England clinched the Test series against South Africa with their seven wicket success in Johannesburg, which put them 2-0 ahead, with only Friday’s Test at Supersport Park, Centurion still to be played.
Not only did that result clinch the series for the tourists, but it also ensured that the Proteas long stay at the top of the ICC’s Test Rankings will come to an end when they fourth Test is concluded. Their place being taken by India, who recently thrashed them 3-0 on the sub-continent.
The third Test was even steven at the halfway stage, as England managed to eke out a narrow 10-run lead.
However, the England bowling attack, lead by Stuart Broad, demolished the hosts batting in double quick time, the final total being a meagre 83 all out. The Frailty of the Proteas batting all too apparent, with only established names, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers looking top class.
South Africa managed to take three late wickets, but England cruised to their target of just 73 to win the match.
Not only is the batting looking substandard, but without their leading fast bowler, Dale Steyn, the bowlers are looking toothless. With the series now lost, the selectors may take no chances with Steyn’s fitness, and leave him out of the side once more.
Dane Piedt had done little wrong in the previous Test, but was omitted from the third Test, as the home selectors decided to go with a four man pace attack. He may well return to the side at Centurion.
For the visitors, Steven Finn has been forced to return home with injury, so will force the visitors into at least one change to their starting team.
The only other question will be against the opener Alex Hales, who has failed to live up to expectations in the red ball game on the tour.
With the series already secured, he may well be given another chance to establish himself as Alastair Cook’s opening partner.