London: England's Jofra Archer on Day 2 of the 5th Test match between England and Australia at Kennington Oval in London on Sep 13, 2019. Photo: Twitter @ICC

CAPE TOWN – England's chances of levelling the series in the second Test against the Proteas starting here at Newlands tomorrow suffered a severe blow on New Year's Day.

Despite spending a period of time in the nets batting, ace fast bowler Jofra Archer bowled just six balls in the entire session due to a sore elbow. Archer's right elbow was seen to be heavily strapped after he completed his batting stint.

There are now serious concerns that the 24-year-old, who claimed six wickets in last week's first Test in Centurion, will be ruled out of the Newlands Test.

The only consolation for the tourists is that the Newlands surface looks much drier than last week at SuperSport Park where the seam bowlers dominated.

The England management would undoubtedly have considered playing a spinner anyways this week, which could have left anyone of Archer, Stuart Broad or James Anderson vulnerable to being dropped.

Instead that decision is likely to made easier for the selection committee - although Archer would be heavily missed if he is to be ruled out - with Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess expected to get the nod ahead of Matt Parkinson and Jack Leach.

The latter was England's frontline spinner in the home Ashes last summer, but Leach was part of the contingent that was struck down by illness since the tourists arrived in South Africa.

Leach did train on Wednesday, but it could be a risk to get him involved straight away.

Meanwhile, another key member of England's squad Jos Buttler also seemed in better spirits after too having previously been laid low through illness.

Buttler was confident this England team could re-write history by becoming the first side to win under the watch of Table Mountain since the Proteas were readmitted to international cricket in 1992. South Africa have won three of the five Tests played with two matches being drawn.

"There will be lots of English support this week, so we are looking forward to that. It is obviously one of the most iconic venues in the world, so everyone is very excited about this Test. The series is very much alive with three Tests to play," Buttler said.

"I think (we will do it) by winning those key moments. If you look back at the last Test, we had South Africa 111/5, we were 140/3 in our first innings, but they still managed a 100-run lead. I think it's about recognising those key moments in the game."

@ZaahierAdams


@IOLSport

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