Rain delays start of fourth South Africa-England Test in Johannesburg

Ruben Hill
January 24, 2020

England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted bat to first on day one of the fourth and final Test against the Proteas at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.

He was banned by the International Cricket Council after an overzealous celebration of England captain Joe Root's dismissal during last week's third Test at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

Wood has only just returned after six months out with a torn side and must always be managed carefully in back-to-back matches, while Archer has missed the last two games with soreness in his right elbow.

The 24-year-old could play alongside fellow speedster Mark Wood, with Root saying on Thursday that a potential "relentless barrage of pace" would be "exciting". "We have to keep that attitude and keep driving that forward for a long period if we want to get to No 1 in the world". That's a really promising sign for us as a team and really good to see him back.

"If we can harness that, take it forward and keep improving as a group, then I do think the sky's the limit for this team".

This is Bavuma's first match of the series. Before that was Mike Brearley and the 1979/80 Ashes.

The Test is the 64th and final one for Proteas veteran Vernon Philander who announced his retirement after the series.

"It would be a very big achievement for this group".

England began the tour in mid-December with 10 players as well as support staff suffering from a mystery virus.

"When we've had our opportunities to bounce back we've really taken them and created an environment where the guys can ultimately take on whatever's thrown at them". But I do think we're very much at the start of something and we're not ideal by any means. "Hopefully that can continue throughout this week as well".

Archer, who made a major impact when he burst on the worldwide scene previous year, missed the last two tests because of an elbow injury but is expected to relish the quick wicket in Johannesburg.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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