Rabada absence may tip scales in Australia's favour

Mitchell Marsh had a few words for Kagiso Rabada Getty Images

Two Tests down, two to go, and the odds remain as closely fought as ever. South Africa's six-wicket victory in the second Test at Port Elizabeth means that this series is destined to go to the wire one way or another. South Africa, extraordinarily, haven't yet won a home Test series against Australia since readmission, and 2/1 says that they aren't about to do so this time around.

Those are the odds on the 2-2 series draw, which is understandably the bookies' favourite after two matches of vastly fluctuating fortunes. Overall, however, Australia remain ever so slightly more likely to close out the win - they are 3/1 to claim a 2-1 series scoreline, and 11/4 for 3-1, compared to 5/1 and 8/1 for South Africa to secure the opposite result.

Much of that may be put down to the absence of Kagiso Rabada - South Africa's 11-wicket spearhead in the second Test has been banned for the remainder of the tour after racking up the demerit points in his altercation with Steve Smith.

One thing that isn't anticipated is a fizzling of the intrigue. Bet365 offer a distant 14/1 for the scoreline to remain at 1-1 with back-to-back draws. And, with the series moving to Cape Town on March 22, where there hasn't been significant rainfall for three years, it's hard to imagine the heavens intervening either.