England in SA

England win toss, bowl in 1st Test in Centurion

2019-12-26 09:32
Joe Root (Getty Images)
Joe Root (Getty Images)

Cape Town - England won the toss and decided to bowl on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Thursday.

LIVE | South Africa v England, Day 1

England chose a five-man seam attack.

All-rounder Ben Stokes was in the England team even though his father, Ged, remained in a Johannesburg hospital with a serious illness. According to a team spokesman, there was no change to Ged Stokes' condition, which was described as "stable" on Wednesday.

Three England players were ruled out because of illness - Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach. All three remained "in quarantine" at the team hotel, according to the England spokesman.

The South African team included two new caps in batsman Rassie van der Dussen and batting all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius.

England captain Joe Root said the decision to pick five seam bowlers had been made because of the conditions and not because of Leach's illness.

"It was a tricky decision," said Root of deciding to bowl. "It's an opportunity to exploit some live grass on the pitch."

South African captain Faf du Plessis said he was not surprised by Root's decision.

"We expected that with the team they picked," he said. "We would have batted. On day one it tends to be a bit slow but as the game goes on the cracks open up and it (the bounce) goes up and down."

England opening bowler James Anderson was playing in his 150th Test.

"For a fast bowler to be fit enough to play in 150 Tests is an incredible achievement," said Root.


South Africa

Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wkt), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje


Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wkt), Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

More to follow...

Read more on:    england  |  proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  mark boucher  |  cricket


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