Du Plessis fits the bill for first-innings fifty in Wellington
South African reached mark in both his Dunedin knocks
New Zealand v South Africa second Test
Sky Sports 3, 10pm Wednesday
India v Australia third Test
Sky Sports 2, 4am Thursday
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis hit fifties in both innings of last week’s drawn first Test with New Zealand in Dunedin and he is worth a bet to reach that mark in the Proteas’ first innings of the second Test in Wellington.
Middle-order mainstay Du Plessis has been in tidy touch throughout the southern hemisphere season, with an ODI-best of 185 against Sri Lanka last month and a Test-best of 118 not out against Australia, and he made 112 not out in the first innings of August’s second Test against the Kiwis on home soil.
A hip injury could rule out the Black Caps’ best bowler Trent Boult and flat pitches look to have been prepared in order to negate the visitors’ ace pace attack.
Plenty of runs have been scored in recent Tests at the Basin Reserve – Bangladesh made 595-8 declared in January before subsiding to defeat – and five days of mainly clear, warm weather are forecast for the Kiwi capital. However, the draw remains the least-favoured result at 10-3.
India captain Virat Kohli looks big at 5-2 to find form and top-score for his side in the third Test with Australia in Ranchi.
This is a first five-dayer at the JSCA Stadium and his three ODI knocks at the venue have been 77 not out, 139 not out and 45.
India are 8-13 to take a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series after levelling matters in Bengalaru last week despite being 87 runs behind after the teams’ first innings.
F du Plessis to hit a fifty in first South Africa innings
2pts 11-8 Ladbrokes
V Kohli top India first-innings runscorer
1pt 5-2 Ladbrokes