• Root struck down by stomach bug

    England captain Joe Root missed training on Sunday after coming down with a stomach bug as the visitors continue to struggle with illness and injury.

    READ: Major injury blow for England as Jimmy heads home

    The severity of Root’s illness is not yet known – initial reports suggest he will be cleared to play in Port Elizabeth – but the England camp are sure to be moving quickly to ensure another outbreak that ravaged the travelling squad during the Boxing Day Test does not reoccur. 

    While Jimmy Anderson and Rory Burns have returned home, bowlers Mark Wood and Jofra Archer are nearing full fitness. The latter, though, still has some work to do if he is to prove he is at 100% come Thursday morning with Woods closer to match readiness.

    Seamer Chris Woakes is waiting in the wings should the duo be unable to play.

    The series is squared at 1-1 heading into the third Test at St George’s Park on Thursday.

    ALSO READ: England lose Burns for rest of SA series

    Meanwhile, England fast bowler Mark Wood is in contention for a return to the Test XI.

    ‘I’ve got no qualms he could come in this week and be successful because of what he’s done in the past and what he can draw upon. He’s got the skills to go out there and make an impact,’ said assistant coach Paul Collingwood.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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