Stokes: No grudge between me and Rabada


Roland-Jones' county teammate Steven Finn has been called-up on standby.

England captain Joe Root praised the 29-year-old, saying: "Consistency is a massive reason why he's highly thought of".

I've spoken previously about my concerns for Keaton Jennings in this series, citing some basic technical issues that I felt would see him struggle at this level, especially against someone of the quality of Vernon Philander.

Root did not get off so easily, what with having to respond to some of his predecessors - mentor Michael Vaughan included - slinging harsh and even unfair criticism his team's way.

"I've spent a lot of time with him at Essex, and he's very calm and methodical and just goes about his business".

The third game between England and South Africa will go into history books as it is all set to become the 100th Test played at The Oval, thereby becoming the fourth venue to achieve the milestone after Lord's, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground.

England do not appear to know yet whether to give Malan the nod for his maiden Test and field three debutants for the first time since 2014, or stick with Liam Dawson to bat at No 8 and provide an extra spin option. "When I took over it was at a time of real darkness as a Test team", he said of his elevation, originally as a stand-in for the injured AB de Villiers, for the home series against New Zealand in August - when SA fell to No7 in the Test rankings. The lasting memory was that we were bowling on the first day and I think England were in a good position and the way we came back the next day to bowl them out for 385, " he recalled. So, we'll turn up tomorrow, take a look at the wicket and make a decision.

Meanwhile, Stokes conceded that he was concerned about England's batting collapse in the second innings of the second Test as they were bowled out for 133, which led to South Africa levelling the series at 1-1 as they triumphed by 340 runs.

Speaking about the defeat, he added: "It is never a good thing is it [to lose]?"

"I see it as a nice thing for us to be in as the opposition". "They are entitled to their opinions". It got us back in the game to win that Test match.

"The fact is that he has been able to offer some control to this South Africa side and allowed the quicks to rotate at the other end".

As Root prepared for the third match of four, and The Oval's 100th Test, he spoke yesterday in conciliatory tones about his fellow Sheffield Collegiate graduate - and former England captain - needing to do his job as a pundit these days.

"I think that the guys around them are experienced now, and it is a great opportunity for those guys coming in to show what they can do and stamp their mark on this team", said the captain.