On Tuesday, England lost to South Africa in the fourth and final Test match of their tour. Alistair Cook’s side already had an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into the last match of the series but their capitulation will be a major worry for Trevor Bayliss. We take a look at how the final match of the series panned out and what it could mean for England’s Test future.
In their final innings, England were bowled out for a measly 101 runs, with Alex Hales and Alistair Cook coming under increasing pressure at the top of the order. In fact, both players were very disappointing throughout the series and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Bayliss look elsewhere – especially in the case of Hales. As Cook is captain, it may be more difficult to displace him unless he stands down.
In the fourth and final Test, England were on the back foot from the start. The hosts scored 475 in their first innings, an impressive total led by three South African centuries. Stephen Cook, playing in his first ever Test match for his country, scored a majestic 115 on the opening day – an innings that set the entire squad up well for success. South Africa will now fancy their chances of success in the shorter format and punters can keep up with the latest team news via Bookies.com, as well as reading up on offers and promotions, such as Paddy Power’s free bets and many more.
From there, the Springboks never looked like losing and England just struggled as the Test match progressed. Cook, Joe Root and Moeen Ali racked up decent totals but England could only muster 342 – a score that left them 133 behind the hosts. In this Test, the tourists just didn’t have the same commitment and interest as in the previous matches, which isn’t acceptable considering how many fans had travelled out to support their side.
South Africa knew that the game was in their hands. With plenty of time remaining, it was a matter of if rather than when the hosts were going to declare. Sitting pretty on 248-5, and with a lead of 381, they stuck England back in to bat. Then came the feeling that England fans know only too well: a complete and utter capitulation. South Africa bowled the tourists out for just 101 runs – a great achievement but England only have themselves to blame after a woeful batting performance.
It would take a brave man to back Bayliss’ men in the One-Day International series against South Africa. The Springboks are one of the best 50-over sides on the planet and many cricket punters will be taking advantage of the Paddy Power free bets, as seen on TV, for the coming tournament. After England won the Test match, the odds on South Africa may be favourable, especially considering the sheer power of both Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers with the bat.
England will take great heart from their Test series victory but their latest defeat will just remind everyone that they’re not the complete package just yet. They won the Ashes series in the summer and now this is an excellent follow up to that but not everything is rosy. Bayliss still has plenty of work to do if they are to regain their place as one of the elite Test sides on the planet.