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Can Faf du Plessis inspire South Africa to bounce back? - Second Test preview

Faf du Plessis will take over the reins for the second Test at Trent Bridge
Faf du Plessis will take over the reins for the second Test at Trent Bridge

Second Test - England v South Africa at Trent Bridge
14th July, 11:00 local, 10:00 GMT

South Africa will be desperate to bounce back from their defeat at Lord's when they face England in the second Test that kicks-off at Trent Bridge on Friday.

The visitors had a disappointing batting performance in the first game at Lord's as Moeen Ali bagged a 10-wicket haul to dismiss South Africa for 119 runs in the final innings. The good news for them will be the return of their skipper Faf du Plessis and his experience was dearly missed in the previous game. Hashim Amla looked good in patches but was dismissed by spinners on both the occasion. He is eight runs short of becoming the fourth South Africa batsman to reach 8,000 runs and will be hoping to make the game a memorable one.

JP Duminy has been axed for the game with Heino Kuhn likely to retain his place and Theunis de Bruyn might make way for Chris Morris, who adds another dimension to the bowling in the absence of Kagiso Rabada, who is suspended for the game following an accumulation of four demerit points. South Africa have played two games against England at Trent Bridge since their readmission into Test cricket and have lost both - something they would like to turn this time around.

England on the other hand are a settled unit and they have announced an unchanged line-up for Thursday's game. This also means they will be sticking with their dual spin combination backed by the three man pace attack apart from Ben Stokes. Joe Root had a memorable game as captain in the first game and his marathon 190 run knock covered up another top order failure in the first innings, even though Alastair Cook managed to notch a half-century in the second innings.

With Chris Woakes and Jake Ball on track in their recovery, pressure will be on Mark Wood to deliver a strong performance while James Anderson will be looking to redeem himself on a venue that he enjoys bowling at. The last time England played at Trent Bridge, it was Stuart Broad's 15 for eight that decimated Australia in the Ashes contest.

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Probable Team:

England (announced): 1. Alastair Cook, 2. Keaton Jennings, 3. Gary Ballance, 4. Joe Root (captain), 5. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 6. Ben Stokes, 7. Moeen Ali, 8. Liam Dawson, 9. Stuart Broad, 10. Mark Wood, 11. James Anderson

South Africa: 1. Dean Elgar, 2. Heino Kuhn, 3. Hashim Amla, 4. Faf du Plessis (captain), 5. Temba Bavuma, 6. Quinton de Kock (wk), 7. Chris Morris, 8. Vernon Philander, 9. Keshav Maharaj, 10. Morne Morkel, 11. Duanne Olivier / Andile Phehlukwayo


The last time South Africa lost two consecutive away games was in 2015 when they toured India.

In their last five games between the two teams, England have lost to South Africa on only one occasion.

At number seven, Moeen Ali averages 78.80 which is the most for any batsman with 10 innings or more.

James Anderson, who is leading wicket taker at the venue with 53 scalps, needs one more wicket to become the first bowler to claim 300 wickets in England and Wales.

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