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England send SA in to bat in third Test

The start of the deciding cricket Test between England and South Africa at The Oval has been delayed because of rain in south London.

The toss was made in between showers on Thursday and England won it, choosing to bowl first.

“It is a bit of strategy and a bit the pitch,” England captain Ben Stokes said.

“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 that.”

England’s only change has Harry Brook in for Jonny Bairstow, who injured his leg last week in what he described as a “freak accident” while playing golf.

South Africa made four changes, with the injured Rassie van der Dussen and Lungi Ngidi replaced by Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zonzo. Marco Jansen returns in place of Simon Harmer and Wiann Mulder comes in after Aiden Markram dropped out.

“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,” Proteas captain Dean Elgar said.

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

The opening two Tests both finished inside three days. South Africa won the first by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s only to be hammered by an innings and 85 runs in the second at Old Trafford.

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

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

With Reuters.

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