Root ready to impress at the crease in Lord's showdown
Ideal opportunity to make pre-tournament mark
Sky Sports 2, 11am Monday
Punters may already have been approaching England’s one-day series with South Africa with caution, given its status as a warm-up series for the ICC Champions Trophy, which starts on Thursday.
And today’s final match at Lord’s has been rendered even more of a prep session after England wrapped up the series by winning the first two games at Headingley and the Rose Bowl.
The hosts must surely do the sensible thing and rest all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has been a feeling a knee injury again and was able to bowl only three overs in game two.
It didn’t trouble him hugely during England’s innings as he smashed a 79-ball 101 to set up a total of 330-6.
But there is enough depth in the England squad for the hosts to complete a sweep of the series without him. And after being 4-5 to win each of the first two games they can be backed at a bigger price today.
South Africa had arrived in England as the ICC’s top-ranked ODI team and they were much more competitive on Saturday.
The Proteas looked to be on their way to victory when they needed just ten runs off the last ten balls, only to be denied by some smart bowling by Jake Ball and Mark Wood.
England have an advantage in that they have experienced the conditions at Lord’s recently, beating Ireland by 85 runs three weeks ago.
They posted 328-6 that day with Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Johnny Bairstow all passing 70.
Test skipper Root will be keen for a decisive knock after posting 37 and 39 in the series so far.
He took three wickets when bowling a full ten overs against Ireland.
While he is just 10-3 to be top England scorer, backing him to be man of the match at 10-1 makes more appeal.
J Root man of the match
1pt 10-1 Sky Bet