MANCHESTER - South Africa were forced to make two changes to the team for the fourth Test here on Friday as Vernon Philander’s injury plagued tour continued while Chris Morris was also forced to stand down owing to a back injury.
Philander failed a fitness test he underwent on Thursday, with his tight back bringing to an end a frustrating tour for the all-rounder, which he started with an ankle injury at Lord’s - he was also struck on the hand there by Jimmy Anderson - and was followed by a viral infection at The Oval which left him feeling the worse for wear.
Morris has not trained all week owing to his back problems.
“Vernon and Chris have been struggling with injuries to their left lower backs this week. They didn’t come through their respective fitness assessments successfully and will unfortunately not be able to take part in this Test match,” said South Africa’s team manager Mohammed Moosajee.
South Africa will bowl first, after Joe Root won the toss, with Duanne Olivier coming into the starting line-up for Morris, while Theunis de Bruyn will play in place of Philander as the Proteas are forced into going back to a starting line-up featuring seven frontline batsmen.
South Africa also listed Temba Bavuma in the no.4 spot, an elevation from 6, with Quinton de Kock who’s played the last two Tests in the no.4 spot dropping back to no.6
South Africa team: Heino Kuhn, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Keshav Maharaj Duanne Olivier.
England team: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Tom Westley, Joe Root (capt), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Toby Roland-Jones, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.