Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

England take chance to rest Test quartet in warm-up

By Rory Dollard

England will give a quartet of Test stars a breather in the one-day international warm-up match against South Africa A in Kimberley.

Stuart Broad, called into the ODI squad as a replacement following Steven Finn and Liam Plunkett's injuries, will sit out the fixture at the Diamond Oval along with Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Joe Root.

They were all heavily involved in the 2-1 Test series win over South Africa and with an ongoing hectic schedule in mind, England have taken the opportunity to manage workloads.

Jos Buttler, by contrast, has been a bystander as wicketkeeping cover to Jonny Bairstow for the past seven weeks - and it will be two months exactly when he returns behind the stumps today since he last played in the tied Twenty20 and dramatic super-over success in Sharjah which wrapped up a 3-0 series win against Pakistan.

It fell to him to confirm England's plans, after practice yesterday, and his own readiness for a return to the thick of the action.

"Broad, Woakes, Stokes and Root are missing out," he said.

"Those guys have played a lot of Test cricket - and it gives others a chance to play and impress. There are some good guys missing out, who will be in contention for the first ODI."

AB de Villiers has agreed to become South Africa Test captain on a permanent basis.

De Villiers, who will also lead his country in a five-match one-day international series against England, starting next week, was in charge for the last two Tests of the series lost 2-1 to the same tourists.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph