England vs South Africa LIVE: Cricket score and updates as rain washes out first day of third test at The Oval

·35-min read
England vs South Africa LIVE: Cricket score and updates as rain washes out first day of third test at The Oval

England close out the summer at The Oval in the third and final test match against South Africa. Ben Stokes’s men suffered their first defeat under his leadership when the Proteas won by an innings and 12 runs at Lords, to take the lead in the series, only for England to bounce-back at Old Trafford with an innings victory of their own leaving the three-match series on the line as the teams meet back in London.

At the start of the summer Stokes took over from Joe Root as England’s test match captain and Brendon McCullum became the head coach. Under their leadership England have won five of their six test matches including a series win over World Test champions New Zealand and a series draw in the delayed fifth test match against India.

Harry Brook makes his international debut replacing injured Yorkshire teammate Jonny Bairstow in England’s only change from last time out. The tourists made four alterations with Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo replacing the injured Rassie van der Dussen and out-of-form Aiden Markram. Left-arm quick Marco Jansen was controversially omitted in Manchester but he returned while all-rounder Wiaan Mulder was also included.

Follow all the action from the third test between England and South Africa:

England vs South Africa

  • Rain delays wash out the first day of the third test without a ball being bowled

  • Start delayed due to rain, first session washed out

  • England win the toss and elect to bowl first

  • Jonny Bairstow out with a broken leg, Harry Brook to make England debut

  • Series level at 1-1

England and South Africa see rain wash out day one of third Test

17:35 , Michael Jones

England and South Africa were thwarted by persistent showers at the Kia Oval as the opening day of the third LV= Insurance Test was washed out.

There was plenty of anticipation for this rubber match after the sides traded innings wins but following a brief delay because of overnight rain, Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bowl first.

It proved to be a false dawn, however, as the heavens opened just before the rearranged start time, setting the tone for a frustrating rainy day.

While there were dry interludes, a couple of umpires’ inspections of the pitch came and went without the prospect of play and any hope of some action on Thursday was officially abandoned at 4.45pm.

England and South Africa see rain wash out day one of third Test

Play abandoned

16:55 , Michael Jones

The was no play on the first day of the third and final test match between England and South Africa. The toss was made and Ben Stokes elected to bowl with clouds circling overhead believed to be helpful for England’s seam bowlers.

The players never took to the field though as the rain started to pour. It continued throughout the day and play was officially abandoned at 4:45pm.

More rain is due for Friday but the weekend sees bright sunshine over The Oval.

Join us again tomorrow morning to see if England can make some early inroads into the South African batting line-up.

Stumps: It’s a washout on Day One

16:48 , Michael Jones

The umpires went out onto the pitch one more time to see if the match could start immediately but they needn’t have bothered as the rain has started to come down once again.

With the time needed to dry the outfield, remove the covers and get the game started - if it were to actually stop raining - then play wouldn’t be able to start before 6pm.

Instead the officials have called it a day without a ball being bowled.

Ollie Robinson has become a ‘gym freak’ to put England career back on track

16:44 , Michael Jones

Ollie Robinson has revealed how embracing life as a “gym freak” helped put his England career back on track.

Robinson made his first Test appearance in seven months at Emirates Old Trafford, helping to wrap up an innings victory over South Africa with match figures of five for 91.

The 6ft 5in seamer was all smiles as he put the finishing touch to the three-day finish in Manchester, clean bowling Lungi Ngidi in comprehensive fashion, but it took plenty of hard work and some frank conversations to reach that point.

Despite a fine record in his first year with England – he now has 44 wickets in 10 appearances at a slender average of 20.93 – Robinson’s fitness was publicly called out by bowling coach Jon Lewis during the final match of last winter’s Ashes. His was not a lone voice, instead reflecting concerns among the management about the player’s general conditioning and tendency to flag over the course of games.

Ollie Robinson has become a ‘gym freak’ to put England career back on track

‘This is a reset moment for the ECB and wider game of cricket'

16:29 , Michael Jones

Richard Thompson hopes his arrival as England and Wales Cricket Board chair acts as a “reset moment” even if he anticipates more testing times in the sport’s push for greater equality.

Thompson officially started as the ECB’s figurehead on Thursday but has little time to bed into his new position, having inherited a multitude of issues on several fronts which have to be addressed.

Chief among them is the racism scandal that has engulfed cricket in the past couple of years, but while challenges remain, Thompson outlined his vision to make the sport the “most inclusive” in the country.

Richard Thompson: This is a reset moment for the ECB and wider game of cricket

Tea has been taken

16:14 , Michael Jones

The Afternoon session is a washout as well as the rain has come back. Tea has been taken and the wait goes on.

Sky Sports’ coverage has been showing highlights of previous England vs South Africa test matches. They started in the early 2000s and have now caught up to this series.

There has been no play at all today.

It’s raining... again

16:05 , Michael Jones

Just like that, the rain has returned and the covers are being brought back out.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Waiting on an update

16:00 , Michael Jones

The umpires have been out to inspect the pitch, they’ve taken a look, assessed the underfoot conditions and have gone back into the pavilion.

No word yet on what they’ve decided.

‘Like a World Cup final'

15:50 , Michael Jones

South Africa’s captain Dean Elgar compared this week’s Test match to a World Cup final as both teams look to secure a series victory at The Oval.

Inspection at 4pm

15:40 , Michael Jones

The umpires have been out, inspected the pitch and gone back in.

Nothing else is happening but the rope is back circling the outfield. The rain has stopped but it is getting darker.

There is one cover left on the square to take off and there’ll be another inspection at 4pm. No idea why the game can’t get started right now, but hey ho.

England aiming to get best from Ben Stokes after dropping Jason Roy from T20 squad

15:35 , Michael Jones

England are banking on Ben Stokes to take a starring role at next month’s Twenty20 World Cup after dropping a “gutted” Jason Roy and reshuffling their batting order.

England were willing to gamble on a host of fitness concerns – with Mark Wood and Chris Woakes both included in the 15-strong squad for Australia despite missing the entire domestic season through injury – but Roy paid the price for an extended lean streak.

He struggled throughout white-ball series against India and South Africa and a laboured performance for Oval Invincibles during The Hundred, where he made three ducks in six innings and averaged 8.5, effectively sealed his fate.

Director of cricket Rob Key, who chaired selection, revealed that Jonny Bairstow would move up to open alongside captain Jos Buttler, allowing star all-rounder Stokes to jump to number four.

Bairstow has since been withdrawn from the squad through injury with Alex Hales brought in to replace him.

England aiming to get best from Ben Stokes after dropping Jason Roy from T20 squad

Jonny Bairstow out of third South Africa Test and T20 World Cup with ‘freak golf injury’

15:25 , Michael Jones

Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of England’s third Test with South Africa and the upcoming T20 World Cup after suffering an injury while playing golf.

Bairstow has been England’s stand-out player under the new Test regime of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, racking up runs against New Zealand and India at the start of the summer, and was due to play in the deciding Test against the South Africans at the Oval next week.

The batsman was also expected to play a key role at the World Cup in Australia, which begins on 16 October, and was named in the England squad on Friday morning at around the time the incident occurred.

The 32-year-old slipped and suffered a leg injury which will require surgery and is expected to keep him out until 2023.

Jonny Bairstow out of Test and World Cup with ‘freak golf injury’

No updates from the middle

15:16 , Michael Jones

An inspection of the pitch was due to take place at 3.10pm but there has been no word of a start time or whether the inspection took place.

Sky Sports are still showing highlights of previous matches between England and South Africa so it doesn’t look likely that play will start anytime soon.

England and South Africa see rain wash out opening session of third Test

15:00 , Michael Jones

No play was possible on the opening morning of the decisive third LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa at the Kia Oval.

With the series deadlocked at 1-1 after innings wins for both sides, there was plenty of anticipation for this match, but overnight rain meant a delayed start before a shower washed out the session.

In-between, Ben Stokes elected to bowl first after winning the toss for the first time in the series, with Harry Brook making his Test debut in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow in England’s only change.

South Africa brought in middle-order batters Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo for the injured Rassie van der Dussen and out-of-form Aiden Markram.

All-rounder Wiaan Mulder and left-arm quick Marco Jansen – controversially omitted at Emirates Old Trafford – replaced spinner Simon Harmer and seamer Lungi Ngidi, who was ruled out with a niggle.

Rain washes out opening session of third England vs South Africa Test

Inspection at 3.10pm

14:50 , Michael Jones

The rain has stopped and the covers have come off the pitch. The latest update is that there will be an inspection of the outfield at 3.10pm.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Brook makes his test debut

14:40 , Michael Jones

A frustrating start to his England test debut for Yorkshire’s Harry Brook. He was presented with his test cap earlier today by fellow Yorkshireman and former England captain Joe Root.

Brook becomes the 707th man to play test match cricket for England.

Alice Capsey hails The Hundred as perfect proving ground for international game

14:30 , Michael Jones

Alice Capsey hailed the Hundred for preparing her for the international scene and believes the second edition of the tournament eclipsed the first, as the Oval Invincibles retained their women’s title.

The 18-year-old struck 25 from 17 balls as South Africa international Marizanne Kapp steered the Invincibles to a five-wicket win against Southern Brave in a repeat of last year’s final.

Lord’s was filled with 20,840 fans and though the game itself was low-scoring, Capsey insisted the tournament has been a boost to the women’s game when compared to last year.

“I think it’s got similarities in the sense that I think it’s been amazing for the women’s game,” she told the PA news agency.

Alice Capsey hails The Hundred as perfect proving ground for international game

England leave Jason Roy out of T20 World Cup squad

14:20 , Michael Jones

Jason Roy has been left out of England’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, paying the price for an extended run of poor form.

Roy has been an integral part of both white-ball sides since England overhauled their approach to limited-overs cricket in 2015 but runs and fluency have been in short supply this year and the 32-year-old has paid with his place.

Having struggled with England throughout the summer Roy endured a miserable time in The Hundred, averaging 8.5 over six innings for Oval Invincibles and making three ducks.

Managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key led the selection process, with head coach Matthew Mott and performance director Mo Bobat also included on the panel.

England leave Jason Roy out of T20 World Cup squad

Harry Brook can expect words of advice from Ollie Pope before England Test debut

14:10 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope is only just shy of being 14 months older than Harry Brook but he is prepared to take on a mentoring role ahead of the latter’s likely England Test debut.

Yorkshire batter Brook, 23, is all but certain to be tasked with replacing the injured Jonny Bairstow on Thursday, when England begin their deciding third Test against South Africa at the Oval.

Pope has made 28 Test appearances since facing India in his 2018 debut, and admitted the pressures of international red-ball cricket can surprise even the most prepared player.

He said: “For someone like Brooky, I know the challenges international cricket can bring.”

Harry Brook can expect words of advice from Ollie Pope before England Test debut

Ollie Pope hopeful he has earned England No 3 spot on permanent basis

14:00 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope is relishing his new role as England’s number three and believes he has done enough to make it his permanent job.

England’s new-look Test leadership team of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum promoted the 24-year-old to the third spot ahead of the series with New Zealand in June, and Pope announced his arrival with a second Test ton at Trent Bridge.

The Surrey right-hander hopes to replicate his success when the squad begin their deciding contest with South Africa on Thursday, but reckons his probationary period might already be over.

“I’d like to think so,” said Pope. “We don’t talk about those things too much, but the feedback I’ve got has been great and I think the confidence that is given from the top from McCullum and Stokes has been great as well, so hopefully that can keep helping me build into that spot and I’m going into this with a bit of a better mindset.”

Ollie Pope hopeful he has earned England No 3 spot on permanent basis

Happy Birthday Jos Buttler

13:50 , Michael Jones

In brighter news today is Jos Buttler’s birthday and the England one-day captain turns 32. He’ll be back in action later this month as England head to Pakistan for a T2 series ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia starting in October.

The future of the game

13:43 , Michael Jones

During this rain break, former England captains Andrew Strauss, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton have all been discussing the future of the game in England.

They’ve discussed the domestic schedule, how to adapt County Cricket to better reflect Test Cricket, the financial aspect of growing the game and of course The Hundred.

It’s been a fascinating converstion that outlines the problems the ECB are facing and how devisive some of their decisions have been.

At the very least it will give cricket fans a different viewpoint on The Hundred and why it was created in the first place.

Planned inspection delayed

13:37 , Michael Jones

The planned inspection that was due to take place at 1.30pm will not go ahead as the rain has come again. The covers are back out and there’s no sign of the players.

It’s all very frustrating.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)
 (PA)
(PA)

England and South Africa see rain wash out opening session of third Test

13:30 , Michael Jones

No play was possible on the opening morning of the decisive third LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa at the Kia Oval.

With the series deadlocked at 1-1 after innings wins for both sides, there was plenty of anticipation for this match, but overnight rain meant a delayed start before a shower washed out the session.

In-between, Ben Stokes elected to bowl first after winning the toss for the first time in the series, with Harry Brook making his Test debut in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow in England’s only change.

South Africa brought in middle-order batters Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo for the injured Rassie van der Dussen and out-of-form Aiden Markram.

All-rounder Wiaan Mulder and left-arm quick Marco Jansen – controversially omitted at Emirates Old Trafford – replaced spinner Simon Harmer and seamer Lungi Ngidi, who was ruled out with a niggle.

Rain washes out opening session of third England vs South Africa Test

England batter Harry Brook is huge talent but ‘a bit dumb’, says Ben Stokes

13:24 , Michael Jones

England captain Ben Stokes believes Harry Brook is a “huge talent” but was less complimentary about the Test newcomer’s intellect, describing him as “a bit dumb”.

Yorkshire batter Brook is poised to make his red-ball debut in his country’s series decider against South Africa at the Kia Oval after being selected in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow.

The 23-year-old has been patiently awaiting an opportunity all summer and underlined his capabilities last month with a superb knock of 140 for England Lions in a tour game against the Proteas.

Stokes is a big admirer of his Northern Superchargers team-mate’s on-field talents, albeit his overall appraisal was not entirely glowing.

England batter Harry Brook is huge talent but ‘a bit dumb’, says Ben Stokes

England stars tipped to join USA’s new ‘go big or go home’ cricket competition

13:17 , Michael Jones

Liam Plunkett believes England’s top stars will find it hard to resist the attraction of the big-money Major League Cricket competition in the United States next summer.

The inaugural 20-over event is set to involve franchises based in six US cities and offer higher salaries than any league in the world with the exception of the IndianPremier League.

Former England pace bowler Plunkett, part of the 2019 World Cup-winning team, is set to play in the competition next June and July and expects many current national team players to be tempted.

“Americans want to watch the best and I think we can attract them,” he told the Daily Mail. “I think they will definitely jump on board when they see how big it is. With how many people love cricket here and the way Americans put on a show, you will get packed-out crowds.”

England stars tipped to join USA’s new ‘go big or go home’ cricket competition

The rain has started again

13:10 , Michael Jones

The momentary delight about a possible start to the game has taken a hit as the rain starts again and the covers are back on. It’s not as heavy as earlier and the inspection is still due to take place at half past.

The rain has stopped

13:02 , Michael Jones

Good news! The rain has stopped at The Oval and the covers are being taken off.

There will be an inspection at 1.30pm to see if play can start. If the ground is dry enough play could get underway around 1.45pm.

Start delayed

12:56 , Michael Jones

It’s been a while since we checked in at The Oval so here goes. It’s dark, it’s wet, it’s gloomy.

There’ll be no play for a while yet.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ben Stokes and recalled Alex Hales share ‘same goal’ with England

12:48 , Michael Jones

England Test captain Ben Stokes insisted he and the recalled Alex Hales share a dream of winning the T20 World Cup as he dodged a question about their personal relationship.

Hales’ lengthy international exile is over after he replaced the injured Jonny Bairstow in Matthew Mott’s squad for next month’s tournament in Australia.

The Nottinghamshire batter has not represented his country for three and a half years, having been dumped on the eve of the 2019 World Cup following two failed recreational drug tests.

All-rounder Stokes was once close with Hales before that bond deteriorated in the aftermath of a late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017, which led to the former being charged with, and ultimately acquitted of, affray.

Ben Stokes and recalled Alex Hales share ‘same goal’ with England

Alex Hales back in England squad for T20 World Cup as Jonny Bairstow replacement

12:38 , Michael Jones

Alex Hales’ long international exile is over after he was called up to replace the injured Jonny Bairstow for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

The 33-year-old Nottinghamshire batter has not represented his country for three-and-a-half years, having been dumped on the eve of the 2019 World Cup in the aftermath of two failed recreational drug tests.

While his official ban only totalled 21 days, in line with England and Wales Cricket Board policy, he was cast out more permanently for what one-day captain Eoin Morgan described as a “complete breakdown in trust”.

Now, with Morgan retired, Bairstow sidelined by a freak leg injury and fellow opener Jason Roy dropped due to lack of form, circumstances have contrived to hand Hales a second chance.

Alex Hales back in England squad for T20 World Cup as Jonny Bairstow replacement

Early lunch taken

12:29 , Michael Jones

The players are taking an early lunch at 12:30pm. That means as soon as the rain stops and the outfield is cleared of surface water they’ll be ready to start.

The forecast is brighter this afternoon into the evening so we should get some play today.

The current state of play

12:21 , Michael Jones

The sun was blazing an hour ago.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)
 (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
(Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

The rain delay

12:14 , Michael Jones

It’s quite grim over The Oval now.

‘This is a reset moment for the ECB and wider game of cricket'

12:07 , Michael Jones

Richard Thompson hopes his arrival as England and Wales Cricket Board chair acts as a “reset moment” even if he anticipates more testing times in the sport’s push for greater equality.

Thompson officially started as the ECB’s figurehead on Thursday but has little time to bed into his new position, having inherited a multitude of issues on several fronts which have to be addressed.

Chief among them is the racism scandal that has engulfed cricket in the past couple of years, but while challenges remain, Thompson outlined his vision to make the sport the “most inclusive” in the country.

Richard Thompson: This is a reset moment for the ECB and wider game of cricket

The rain’s not letting up

12:00 , Michael Jones

Oh the peculiarities of cricket.

A schedule change

11:55 , Michael Jones

At the start of the day the umpires delayed the match by half an hour and gave this revised schedule for the day’s play:

11:30- 13:00 - Morning session

13:00 - 13:40 - Lunch

13:40 - 16:10 - Afternoon Session

16:10 - 16:30 - Tea

16:30 - 18:30 - Evening session with 30 minutes to be added on if required.

Obviously, these times are now out of date due to the rain which is still coming down in force. The umpires may be starting to think about an early lunch.

The extra 30 minutes at the end of the day will definitely be needed now.

England vs South Africa decider ‘like a World Cup final’, Dean Elgar claims

11:48 , Michael Jones

South Africa captain Dean Elgar is viewing the series decider against England “like a World Cup final” and has warned Test debutant Harry Brook that “this is the big league now”.

Rookie Yorkshire batter Brook has been drafted into the hosts’ team for a tantalising finale at the Kia Oval in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow.

The Proteas have already been on the receiving end of the 23-year-old’s talents after he last month smashed 140 during a crushing win for the England Lions in a tour match in Canterbury.

Elgar downplayed the importance of that display and insists Brook faces a far different proposition over the coming days.

England vs South Africa decider ‘like a World Cup final’, Dean Elgar claims

A waiting game

11:42 , Michael Jones

Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson look out at the rain from the England dressing room and are a picture of how we’re all feeling at this delay.

 (PA)
(PA)

Who will win the series?

11:36 , Michael Jones

With the rain properly hammering down now, play doesn’t look like it will start for a while. Ben Stokes has already given England the advantage in the match by winning the toss and electing to bowl.

This weather should help swing movement when play does begin and in Jimmy Anderson, England have one of the greatest swing bowlers of all time.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It’s raining

11:29 , Michael Jones

The supporters have fled under the stands and more covers are being brought onto the ground. We haven’t had a ball bowled yet and now the match faces an indeterminate delay.

The rain has to stop first before any play can take place.

Not good signs

11:25 , Michael Jones

There’s a lot of activity happening with the groundstaff as a bunch of dark clouds have arrived over the top of The Oval. It is quite dark out there and the covers are coming on in preparation of a downpour.

The players are ready to go but it looks as though the start will face another delay.

Anderson playing in 175th test

11:21 , Michael Jones

Also happening this morning, James Anderson was presented a new test cap for reaching his 175th match. 175! What an achievement for England’s greatest ever bowler.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The teams

11:16 , Michael Jones

Here’s a look at the two teams. South Africa have strengthened their batting line-up and they’ll face an early test against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson first up.

England XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, James Anderson

South Africa XI: Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne, Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Elgar on batting first

11:12 , Michael Jones

Dean Elgar lost the toss and will open the batting for South Africa. He says that the surface looks good for batting but the first session may be tricky.

“It looks like a good surface but there might be something in it in the first session so we will have to knuckle down with bat in hand and start well.” said the Proteas captain.

“Talent and skill is one thing but something I really look for and like in a cricket player is if they show character and that’s what we need.

“We didn’t have the greatest second Test but it is still 1-1 and we would have taken that coming into the series.

“Runs are key. We have the 20 wickets covered with our bowlers but we need to give them the chance to strike well and bowl to something.”

Stokes on why he chose to bowl first

11:07 , Michael Jones

“It is a bit of strategy and the pitch. We’ve done well bowling first this summer and with the weather we’ve had it has been under cover a bit and hopefully we can utilise covers.” said the England captain at the toss after deciding to bowl first in the third test against South Africa.

“I’m massively disappointed for Jonny [Bairstow]. He’s been phenomenal and the spearhead of what we’ve done and he should be very proud of that and what he’s achieved. Harry Brook thoroughly deserves this opportunity. I am really excited for him to go and show what he can do.

“I don’t think our approach changes because of the change. We’ll play what is ahead of us. We’ll concentrate on the bowling this morning and then as the game goes deeper we’ll play the game in front of us accordingly.”

England win the toss and will bowl first

11:02 , Michael Jones

Ben Stokes has won the toss and decided to bowl first. Stokes says that the team has had some success bowling first this summer and due to the pitch being covered for a while and the weather circling in he fancies a bowl.

Harry Brook can expect words of advice from Ollie Pope before England Test debut

10:55 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope is only just shy of being 14 months older than Harry Brook but he is prepared to take on a mentoring role ahead of the latter’s likely England Test debut.

Yorkshire batter Brook, 23, is all but certain to be tasked with replacing the injured Jonny Bairstow on Thursday, when England begin their deciding third Test against South Africa at the Oval.

Pope has made 28 Test appearances since facing India in his 2018 debut, and admitted the pressures of international red-ball cricket can surprise even the most prepared player.

Harry Brook can expect words of advice from Ollie Pope before England Test debut

Weather watch

10:50 , Michael Jones

It’s dry and sunny over The Oval at the minute but the weather radar says that heavy showers are due to arrive around 11:30am - just when play is due to start.

It seems to be a similar situation to the match at Lords which saw lots of rain come down in sporadic bursts which meant there was a lot of water to get rid of.

Today could be a stop-start day but looking forwards the weather looks brilliant for the weekend and Monday. This could play a factor in the toss.

Win the toss and bowl first?

Brook receives England test cap

10:46 , Michael Jones

Harry Brook received his test match cap from former England captain Joe Root this morning.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ollie Pope hopeful he has earned England No 3 spot on permanent basis

10:41 , Michael Jones

Ollie Pope is relishing his new role as England’s number three and believes he has done enough to make it his permanent job.

England’s new-look Test leadership team of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum promoted the 24-year-old to the third spot ahead of the series with New Zealand in June, and Pope announced his arrival with a second Test ton at Trent Bridge.

The Surrey right-hander hopes to replicate his success when the squad begin their deciding contest with South Africa on Thursday, but reckons his probationary period might already be over.

“I’d like to think so,” said Pope. “We don’t talk about those things too much, but the feedback I’ve got has been great and I think the confidence that is given from the top from McCullum and Stokes has been great as well, so hopefully that can keep helping me build into that spot and I’m going into this with a bit of a better mindset.”

Ollie Pope hopeful he has earned England No 3 spot on permanent basis

A world class duo

10:36 , Michael Jones

James Anderson has taken 24 wickets at an average of 17.66 in Test cricket this summer, while Stuart Broad has 22 wickets at 31.90.

If Anderson does play next summer - against Ireland or Australia - it would mark 20 years since his Test debut made against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in 2003.

He has taken 664 wickets in 174 matches. Broad meanwhile debuted in 2007 and has taken 559 wickets in 158 appearances.

“It’s great to see Jimmy at 40 and Broady at 36 having a new lease of life in the dressing room and honestly I can’t tell you when the end will be,” said Stokes.

“We’ve got the Ashes coming up next summer and I’m pretty sure they have got their eyes set on that.”

Broad and Anderson targeting Ashes tests

10:31 , Michael Jones

England’s veteran bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have “got their eyes set” on next summer’s Ashes series says captain Ben Stokes.

Both seamers were dropped for England’s tour of West Indies in March as part of a resetting of the England team following a bruising defeat in Australia.

However, Joe Root stepped down as captain after the West Indies and both seamers returned to play a key part in Ben Stokes’ side winning five of their six Tests this summer.

“I honestly just can’t see a point where they decide it’s time for them to step away,” said Stokes. “Jimmy has come out and said how much fun he’s had and Broady’s influence in the dressing room is the best I’ve seen while playing with him over the years.

“The conversations he has had not only with me but the other bowlers, how he wants to help them and stuff like that is something he’s taken to another level.”

Start delayed

10:26 , Michael Jones

The umpires have completed their checks of the pitch and the outfield and have decided that start will be delayed by half an hour to give the ground more time to dry out.

The toss will take place at 11am with play starting at 11:30am.

England’s starting XI

10:24 , Michael Jones

England make just one change to the test side that took on South Africa at Old Trafford. Jonny Bairstow’s broken leg forces him out of the team with Harry Brook making his test match debut.

Ollie Robinson keeps his place after an impressive performance at Old Trafford.

Jonny Bairstow out of third South Africa Test and T20 World Cup with ‘freak golf injury’

10:20 , Michael Jones

Here are the full details of Jonny Bairstow’s absence.

Bairstow has been ruled out of England’s third Test with South Africa and the upcoming T20 World Cup after suffering an injury while playing golf.

Bairstow has been England’s stand-out player under the new Test regime of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, racking up runs against New Zealand and India at the start of the summer, and was due to play in the deciding Test against the South Africans at the Oval next week.

The batsman was also expected to play a key role at the World Cup in Australia, which begins on 16th October, and was named in the England squad on Friday morning at around the time the incident occurred.

Jonny Bairstow out of Test and World Cup with ‘freak golf injury’

Overnight rain

10:14 , Michael Jones

The weather over The Oval looks a little overcast and cloudy but the sun is trying to peak through the clouds. There has been a lot of rain overnight and the ground is a bit damp but the players are warming up on the outfield.

The umpires are giving the wicket a check over at 10:15 to see if play can start on time at 11 o’clock.

Ollie Robinson has become a ‘gym freak’ to put England career back on track

10:11 , Michael Jones

Ollie Robinson has revealed how embracing life as a “gym freak” helped put his England career back on track.

Robinson made his first Test appearance in seven months at Emirates Old Trafford, helping to wrap up an innings victory over South Africa with match figures of five for 91.

The 6ft 5in seamer was all smiles as he put the finishing touch to the three-day finish in Manchester, clean bowling Lungi Ngidi in comprehensive fashion, but it took plenty of hard work and some frank conversations to reach that point.

Ollie Robinson has become a ‘gym freak’ to put England career back on track

Robinson back in form

10:06 , Michael Jones

Ollie Robinson returned to the England team at Old Trafford and picked up where he left off after being forced out of the series against West Indies with injury.

Following a difficult Ashes series down under, Robinson’s fitness levels were called into question by England bowling coach Jon Lewis but the 28-year-old has worked hard to get back to match fitness.

He took 5-91 across both of South Africa’s innings in Manchester and now has 44 wickets in 10 appearances at a incredible average of 20.93.

England now have depth in the bowling department with Matt Potts also impressing this summer and of course James Anderson and Stuart Broad continue to show why they are two of England’s bests.

England batter Harry Brook is huge talent but ‘a bit dumb’, says Ben Stokes

10:01 , Michael Jones

England captain Ben Stokes believes Harry Brook is a “huge talent” but was less complimentary about the Test newcomer’s intellect, describing him as “a bit dumb”.

Yorkshire batter Brook is poised to make his red-ball debut in his country’s series decider against South Africa at the Kia Oval after being selected in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow.

The 23-year-old has been patiently awaiting an opportunity all summer and underlined his capabilities last month with a superb knock of 140 for England Lions in a tour game against the Proteas.

Stokes is a big admirer of his Northern Superchargers team-mate’s on-field talents, albeit his overall appraisal was not entirely glowing.

England batter Harry Brook is huge talent but ‘a bit dumb’, says Ben Stokes

Brook to make England debut

09:56 , Michael Jones

Jonny Bairstow’s absence provides an opportunity for Yorkshire’s Harry Brook who has been waiting for his chance to take the step up to test match level.

The 23-year-old has played four T20s for England and has been in every Test squad this summer without playing a game.

The right-hander averages 36 in first-class cricket and made 140 for England Lions against South Africa in a warm-up match for the Test series.

“Hopefully he can take the opportunity with both hands and put even more pressure on the batting line-up,” said Stokes.

“The style he goes about things is exactly what we want in that middle order. Jonny [Bairstow] has set the tone, style and manner in which the middle order likes to play.

“I think we get a like-for-like replacement with the aggressive intent, the positive way Harry wants to show off his skills.”

Bairstow to miss final test

09:51 , Michael Jones

Jonny Bairstow definitely out of this week’s final test match with South Africa and is likely to miss the rest of the year after suffering a broken leg slipping whilst playing golf last Friday.

“I’m devastated for Jonny with the summer he’s had and the T20 World Cup coming up,” said England captain Ben Stokes.

“It’s really unfortunate timing but he can be really proud of what he’s achieved this summer. He’s been the catalyst of the revival and he should definitely hold his head high.”

Bairstow has been a crucial part for England’s success this summer scoring 681 runs from the middle order at an average of 61.9. He’s scored four hundreds in 11 innings including two match winning knocks against New Zealand and India.

England vs South Africa decider ‘like a World Cup final’, Dean Elgar claims

09:46 , Michael Jones

South Africa captain Dean Elgar is viewing the series decider against England “like a World Cup final” and has warned Test debutant Harry Brook that “this is the big league now”.

Rookie Yorkshire batter Brook has been drafted into the hosts’ team for a tantalising finale at the Kia Oval in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow.

The Proteas have already been on the receiving end of the 23-year-old’s talents after he last month smashed 140 during a crushing win for the England Lions in a tour match in Canterbury.

Elgar downplayed the importance of that display and insists Brook faces a far different proposition over the coming days.

England vs South Africa decider ‘like a World Cup final’, Dean Elgar claims

England vs South Africa

09:38 , Michael Jones

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the third and final test match between England and South Africa from The Oval. This match rounds out a brilliant summer for Ben Stokes’ team which has seen them win five out of their six tests under the new leadership group of Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

Their only blip during this run was in the first test of this series where South Africa romped home with an innings and 12 run victory at Lords putting the sustainability of ‘Bazball’ into question. England responsed in fine fashion and dominated from the start in the second test at Old Trafford. They tore through South Africa’s batting line-up to dismiss them for 151 in the first innings before centuries from Stokes and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes put England in firm control of the match. Another brilliant bowling display in the third innings did for the Proteas once again and England closed out the game with an innings and 85 run win.

There has been 12 days between the conclusion of that test and the start of this decisive one. In that time Jonny Bairstow - so crucial to England’s success this summer with the bat - has suffered a freak injury on the golf course resulting in a broken leg and will be out for the rest of the year. In his place comes Yorkshire’s Harry Brook with the 23-year-old set to make his test match debut for England.