England bowl first vs South Africa The entire opening day of the third and final Test between England and South Africa was washed out as both sides waited to see what would become of the remainder of the match, following the death of Her Majesty, the Queen.Play was abandoned without a ball being bowled early on Thursday evening after England captain Ben Stokes had won the toss and asked South Africa to bat first under threatening skies at The Oval.
Overnight storms had cleared by match morning, although the outfield remained wet enough to prompt umpires Richard Kettleborough and Nitin Menon to delay the toss by half an hour and dark clouds enveloped the ground just shortly before rescheduled start time of 11.30am and heavy showers arrived before the players could take the field.Despite a few hopeful movements in terms of cover removal and pitch inspections, the rain set in and play had been called off by 4.45pm.
But the day's events in South London were overshadowed by those much further north at Balmoral, where the Royal Family gathered at their Scottish home amid concerns over the Queen's health.It was confirmed shortly after 6pm that she had died at the age of 96, and the ECB are expected to announce that the scheduled second day of the match will now become a day of respect, with the Test likely to get underway on Saturday.
As confirmed by Stokes on match eve, Harry Brook was named to make his debut in place of Jonny Bairstow, who is expected to spend an extended period on the sidelines after his freak golfing injury.Joe Root presented Brook with his Test cap, while Marcus Trescothick gave James Anderson a cap to mark his 175th Test after the pair played together in Anderson's debut in 2003.
"Massively disappointed for Jonny, he's been absolutely phenomenal this summer," Stokes told Sky Sports."He's been the spearhead of what we wanted to achieve this summer.
Harry Brook gets that opportunity, he thoroughly deserves the situation he finds himself in." South Africa made wholesale changes, meanwhile, least surprisingly bringing in Ryan Rickelton for Rassie van der Dussen, who fractured his finger while fielding during the second Test at Old Trafford.Dean Elgar, their captain, revealed at the toss that Lungi Ngidi was injured - he has a hamstring problem - while Aiden Markram and Simon Harmer were omitted.
As a result, Marco Jansen returned to the side after being overlooked for the second Test and Khaya Zondo was set to play his second Test after making his debut against Bangladesh in April, replacing Markram, who has struggled for form.Wiaan Mulder returned to the side for his first Test since that home series against Bangladesh, with South Africa seeking to shore up their batting while providing an extra seam option.
England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Alex Lees, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ollie Robinson, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar (capt), 2 Sarel Erwee, 3 Keegan Petersen, 4 Ryan Rickelton, 5 Khaya Zondo, 6 Kyle Verreynne (wk), 7 Wiaan Mulder, 8 Marco Jansen, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Anrich Nortje.