News Worms
News Worms


AB de Villiers' absence will hurt South Africa in Tests: Nasser

AB de Villiers' absence will hurt South Africa in Tests: Nasser

Almost four months after being appointed as England captain, after Alastair Cook stepped down from the post following series defeat to India, Root will end his long wait to lead the side.

England paceman Stuart Broad is confident he has recovered from a heel injury and is fit enough to play in the opening Test against South Africa at Lord's starting on Thursday, in what will be Joe Root's coronation as captain. He'll really thrive off the extra responsibility.

South Africa are more than usually vulnerable because have their most inexperienced batting line-up of the past 20 years - Hashim Amla stands out - and a new captain in Dean Elgar for this match, before Faf du Plessis returns from the hard birth of his first child.

Root, however, can go better than the usual 1-1 or 2-1 results if he makes his captaincy resemble every other aspect of his game.

The 27-year-old has struggled to make a similar impact on the worldwide scene, though, and his inclusion to bat at three has raised some eyebrows.

The first Test between England and South Africa gets underway at Lord's on Thursday. Elgar, who played the first half of the season at Somerset and averaged 47, sees the pressure on his opposite number. Although expect Root (9/4) to push him close.

I reckon he's worth a bet at 7/2 to take the most wickets for England in the first innings at Lord's and also at 4/1 to be the home side's leading wicket-taker in the series. Dawson, who has represented England across all formats and made his Test debut against India a year ago will feature in his first home Test as the second spinner behind Moeen Ali.

"I look at the team and I think it's got great balance".

He takes over a team humiliated 4-0 last winter by India and looking to use a seven-Test summer - a three-match series against West Indies follows South Africa - to build towards an Ashes winter.

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