England unchanged for South Africa Test series decider after Zak Crawley shows grit at Old Trafford

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England unchanged for South Africa Test series decider after Zak Crawley shows grit at Old Trafford

England have confirmed an unchanged Test squad for next Thursday’s series decider against South Africa at The Oval.

England completed a series-levelling win in Manchester inside three days on Saturday, following South Africa’s six-session victory at Lord’s.

An unchanged 14-man squad was always likely for England, with the under-pressure Zak Crawley toughing out 38 from 101 balls that proved crucial in the Old Trafford win. Barring injuries, the only decision to make over the XI will be whether Matt Potts returns.

South Africa are the team with headaches as they take 10 days off between Tests. Rassie van der Dussen has been ruled out with a hand injury, while Aiden Markram is struggling for form. Khaya Zondo and Ryan Rickelton could come in to a much-changed middle order, while Marco Jansen also seems likely to return.

Zak Crawley dug in with a gritty display for England against South Africa at Old Trafford (Action Images via Reuters)
Zak Crawley dug in with a gritty display for England against South Africa at Old Trafford (Action Images via Reuters)

Before the Test, this Friday England will name a squad for the seven T20s in Pakistan, which begin on September 20, while they must name their T20 World Cup squad by September 16, the final day of the Test summer.

The picture for both is complicated by injuries, including to Liam Livingstone and captain Jos Buttler, who is unlikely to play every game in Pakistan, meaning Moeen Ali will take over. There are also a raft of injuries to bowlers.

Today sees the final two games of the regular season of The Hundred, with Jason Roy undergoing a late fitness test before Oval Invincibles’ game against Manchester Originals. Roy sat out Invincibles’ last game with a back spasm, and will be desperate for a score to shore up his place on the plane this winter.

Last night, Crawley used his break to turn out for London Spirit, who lost by one wicket to Birmingham Phoenix at Lord’s, but that was enough to secure qualification for Friday’s Eliminator, where they will face the winner of Invincibles against Originals. The winner of that game plays Trent Rockets at Lord’s on Saturday.