The Adelaide Oval - 24th-28th November 2016


Though the final game of this tour is technically a dead rubber, both sides have plenty to play for in the day-night Test at Adelaide. Australian cricket has self-destructed on an epic scale (which has been lovely to watch), and South Africa will have a score to settle after the embarrassing accusations and harassment directed at them, and Faf du Plessis in particular, by the Australian media, who seem to be struggling with the sourest of sour grapes.

For the first time since World Series Cricket, the Australian top order will feature three debutants, with Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson to collect their baggy greens. A total of five changes have been made to the Aussie side since Hobart, with Matt Wade and Jackson Bird incoming. The fact that captain Steve Smith had to have Renshaw pointed out to him when at his first training underlines how fractured this squad is.

South Africa will be skippered by Faf du Plessis, despite him being found guilty of eating sweets on the field, and could field an unchanged side, with the possibility of swapping spinners, with leggie Tabraiz Shamsi in with a shout.

Last years day-night Test at Adelaide was a whistlestop affair, and over in three days. Both sides seamers to plenty of joy from the grassy pitch, and batsmen struggled all round, with 224 the highest total in the game. The pitch this year is expected to have plenty of grass on top, although 2mm less than vs New Zealand. Despite this, seamers should still get plenty from the surface, and with Australia's novice batting line up, I'd expect the visitors to come out on top here.

With ten wickets in the series so far, Vernon Philander has the measure of the Australians. His line and length bowling should mean he's able to extract a lot of lateral movement from the grassy surface, and if there's one thing we've seen from the Australians, they don't cope well with lateral movement. The 3.5 on him to be top SA wicket taker is big enough for me.

Australian debutant Peter Hanscombe is the Sheffield Shield's highest run scorer in day-night games, and averages over 68 at the Gabba. His run line of 24.5 looks low to me, so I'm taking overs.

Trading Notes: With the draw as big as it is (6.6 to back at time of writing), I'm almost tempted to back here, but given how bad Australia are, and that there's no threat of weather, I'm siding with South Africa here. 2.16 on them pre-off is skinny, but I'll certainly be looking to get on at bigger prices in play.

Back Vernon Philander to be top South Africa bowler at 3.5 with Ladbrokes

Back Peter Hanscombe to score over 24.5 runs at 1.83 with Ladbrokes