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Root wins toss, England bat first in second Test at Newlands

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town.

England's Joe Denly plays a shot during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and England at The SuperSport Park stadium at Centurion near Pretoria on 29 December 2019. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - England paceman Jofra Archer will miss the second test against South Africa starting on Friday, piling on the misery for the visitors after the overnight announcement of Rory Burns’ return home with a tour-ending ankle injury.

With Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dominic Bess brought into the team after the first test defeat, England won the toss and elected to bat on a hot first day at Newlands.

“It looks a good surface and hopefully we can exploit that and get a good score,” said England captain Joe Root.

Archer has a recurring elbow injury and did not bowl in practice over the last two days and England have opted to allow him time to rest for the remainder of the series.

Officials said on Friday he would go for a second scan to better diagnose the injury.

South African captain Faf du Plessis, who has now lost five successive tosses, said he would also have chosen to bat first. “But always at Newlands in the first session on the first day there is something in it for the bowlers,” he added.

The inclusion of off-spinner Bess means a reprieve for veteran bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, one of whom was expected to be dropped after England lost the first test in Pretoria by 107 runs.

Bess had not been selected in the original tour squad but was flown in South Africa ahead of the first test after a flu virus swept through the England camp to leave several players bed-ridden.

Crawley, 21, plays only his second test and will open with Dom Sibley.

South Africa handed opener Pieter Malan a test debut at the age of 30 in place of the injured Aiden Markram, who underwent surgery this week on a broken finger and will play no further part in the series.

They made no other changes.

Teams

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (capt), Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

England: Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Dom Bess, James Anderson, Stuart Broad