England win toss and bat first v South Africa

LONDON: England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat against South Africa in the third Test at the Oval on Thursday.

The sides are level at 1-1 after England convincingly won the series opener at Lord's before South Africa squared it up with a 340-run victory in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

England have named three Test debutants in their side with Essex's Tom Westley batting at number three, in place of the injured Gary Ballance, and Middlesex's Dawid Malan coming in at number five.

Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones was called in after Mark Wood was ruled out because of injury.

Overcast conditions are expected to help the bowlers on day one so England will need to avoid the kind of batting woes they experienced at Trent Bridge where they were skittled for 133 in their second innings.

"It does look a little bit green. We have three debutants, so it's very exciting and a chance for them to show what they can do," Root said. "We've gone with the extra batting option and hopefully it's a strong week for us."

Paceman Kagiso Rabada returns for South Africa after being suspended for the second Test.


England: Cook, Jennings, Westley, Root (capt), Malan, Stokes, Bairstow (wk), Moeen, Roland-Jones, Broad, Anderson.

South Africa: Kuhn, Elgar, Amla, de Kock (wk), Du Plessis (capt), Bavuma, Philander, Morris, Rabada, Maharaj, Morkel.