The WACA, Perth - 3rd-7th November 2016
After the enthralling Test series in Bangladesh, the latest series this winter could be incredibly dull in comparison. Hosts Australia will feel they have a score to settle after a humiliating 5-0 ODI series defeat in South Africa last month, and their Test side will be looking to bounce back after a similarly humiliating 3-0 defeat in Sri Lanka in July and August.
The hosts have named their team already, with Peter Siddle making the cut as third seamer alongside Starc and Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon providing a spin option, and Shaun Marsh opening the batting with David Warner. South Africa will definitely play Steyn, Philander and Rabada, and may opt for four seamers with the inclusion of Morne Morkel. The visitors batting looks a little light to me, with a top five of Cook, Elgar, Amla, du Plessis and Bavuma, and Duminy and De Kock at six and seven. On balance these sides are fairly evenly matched, with Australia holding the upper hand in the batting department, and the visitors with an marginally stronger bowling attack.
Despite its reputation for pace and bounce, the WACA pitch can turn out very flat, as demonstrated during the 600-plays-600 draw against New Zealand last year. With the mismatch in quality between the bowling line ups here, I'd expect the Aussies to play to their strengths, put their whining about doctored pitches to one side, and order an absolute road here. With that in mind, and back of the draw at 5.2 looks like a great trading position, as its very likely to trade a lot lower in play.
A flat pitch means runs will be the order of the day, and I'll be looking at overs here. David Warner has an average of 98.85 at the WACA, and 68.09 against South Africa, so won't be coming into this game with any fear. The 35.5 line is a little high, but worth taking on. Quenton de Kock is yet to set the world alight in red ball cricket, but has had a great tour so far. You can buy his runs at 68 with SportingIndex here, which is too low for me.
Trading Notes: Back the draw from the start, expect it to trade very short if the pitch plays as flat as expected. The surface will play a big part, and any life in it should give the South African bowlers the upper hand.
Back David Warner to score over 35.5 runs with Ladbrokes
Buy Quinton de Kock match runs at 68 with SportingIndex