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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Ruthless Root can inspire England

Pressure on Proteas after Lord's loss

Joe Root could play a starring role for England
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Second Test
Sky Sports 2, 11am Friday
South Africa couldn't handle England's spinners at Lord's and they may struggle to bounce back in the second Test at Trent Bridge, where the home side's fast bowlers have a great recent record.

Captain Faf du Plessis returns to lead the Proteas, having missed the first Test due to paternity leave, but bookmakers rate England 5-8 favourites with the tourists 4-1 and the draw 7-2.

Du Plessis flew in for the fourth and final day at Lord's, witnessing his teammates being bowled out for 119 as Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson spun England to a 211-run victory.

Their display was marred by unconvincing batting, dropped catches and bowlers taking wickets off no-balls so it is hard to see them getting back into the series at a venue where England have won six of their last seven Tests.

In general, England have struggled for consistency in Test cricket and their home record in 2015 and 2016 reads WLWLWWLWWDLWWL.

However, Joe Root batted ruthlessly at Lord's, racking up a crucial 190 in the first innings, and the new skipper will want his side to show no mercy in Nottingham.

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Several England players should have a spring in their step as they arrive at Trent Bridge, where they have enjoyed great success recently.

Root's last two Test innings in Nottingham were 154 not out against India in 2014 and 130 in the 2015 Ashes clash with Australia - after the Aussies had been bundled out for 60 on the first morning.

The Yorkshireman had a dream start at Lord's, falling just ten runs short of a double-century, and Hills' 11-8 that he reaches 50 in the first innings is well worth a bet - it is evens elsewhere.

Root's 29 first-innings scores in home Tests include eight centuries and five fifties and he can punish South Africa's bowlers again.

Paddy Power make bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad 16-1 to be man of the match and those odds demand an interest.

Anderson, who bowled well at Lord's, has an amazing record of 53 wickets in eight Nottingham Test matches and also made his highest Test score of 81 at Trent Bridge in 2014.

Broad, who has made swashbuckling unbeaten fifties in his last two first-class innings, took 8-15 in the famous Ashes victory two years ago.

He averages 43 with the bat and 18.5 with the ball at his home ground in Tests and had a spell of five wickets for no runs in 16 balls - including a hat-trick - against India in 2011.

J Root to score a first-innings fifty
3pts 11-8 Hills
J Anderson to be man of the match
1pt 16-1 Paddy Power
S Broad to be man of the match
1pt 16-1 Paddy Power

England have won six of their last seven Trent Bridge Tests with the exception being the 2014 draw with India on an uncharacteristically lifeless pitch.

Swing and seam bowlers can expect helpful conditions in Nottingham so England spinner Moeen Ali may take a back seat after his ten wickets at Lord's.

Team news
England should name an unchanged side, with left-arm spinner Dawson preferred to seamer Toby Roland-Jones.

Fast bowler Duanne Olivier replaces the suspended Kagiso Rabada and JP Duminy makes way for captain Du Plessis. All-rounder Chris Morris is also pushing for a place in the 11.

Cloudy but dry for all five days with temperatures ranging from 19C to 23C.

South Africa's display was marred by unconvincing batting, dropped catches and bowlers taking wickets off no balls
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