Kevin Pietersen has been dominating the headlines ever since the 2nd Test in Yorkshire, although the all-rounder won’t be involved at Lord’s after the selectors dropped the former captain for failing to deny he sent derogatory text messages regarding Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss.
Perhaps England will rally in the wake of Pietersen’s indiscretions and there might be more of a togetherness in the dressing room as the home team look to preserve their number one status by serving it up to the South Africans.
The bookies are far from convinced and offer 11/4 (bet365 £200 free bets) about England claiming victory at the ‘home of cricket’ with Jonny Bairstow set to deputise for KP and it will be another chance for someone who struggled against the West Indies earlier this summer.
South Africa are 2/1 (Sky Bet) to make it a conclusive 2-0 in the series and they were never in too much danger of losing at Headingley despite a meagre 258 runs in the 2nd innings which illustrated that the tourists’ tail order could be easily skittled with some accurate bowling.
Pietersen aside, most of England’s batsmen returned to form in Yorkshire and Andrew Strauss will be well supported by the Barmy Army, with odds of 4/1 (Paddy Power bookmaker) available that the captain leads by example and scores the most England runs.
Alastair Cook is on offer at a similar 4/1 with Ladbrokes, although Matt Prior is often the man for the occasion and 12/1 looks a solid each-way price about the wicket keeper who actually seems to be one of the best at keeping his wicket!
Even so, South Africa have a fearsome batting order and Alviro Petersen made amends for his low tally at The Oval by proving impossible to beat in the 2nd Test, that was until Stuart Broad managed to remove him for 82 runs.
Petersen is fourth favourite at 5/1 (BetVictor bookmaker) to outscore his compatriots although Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith will be well backed and Jacques Kallis will be looking to finish his final Test Match in England with a decent knock.
The weather forecast is not exactly set fair and that explains why the draw is priced at 6/5 with bet365, with rain scheduled for practically every day of the Test, although we might see that price trade much higher if there are some early wickets.