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England name unchanged squad for South Africa decider

                London, Aug 31 (AFP/APP):Ben Stokes will lead an unchanged 14-man England squad into next week’s third and deciding Test against South Africa at the Oval after it was released on Wednesday.

                  England levelled the three-match series at 1-1 with a dominant innings and 85-run win inside three days in the second Test at Old Trafford.

                  Stokes scored 103 — his first Test century as skipper — and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes 113 not out.

                  England’s victory followed South Africa’s almost as crushing innings and 12-run win in the first Test at Lord’s.

                  That is the only defeat England have suffered while winning all the other five of their six matches since Stokes replaced Joe Root as permanent red-ball captain at the start of the season.

                  Barring late injuries, it now looks likely England will deploy the same XI that won in Manchester when the third Test at the Oval in south London starts on Thursday, September 8.

                  That would leave uncapped batsman Harry Brook still waiting for his Test debut.

                  Pacemen Craig Overton and Matthew Potts will struggle to force their way into a seam attack where Ollie Robinson and James Anderson struck with the new ball to take South Africa’s last five wickets for just seven runs in 30 balls.

                  South Africa could revert to playing four fast bowlers after their policy of fielding two spinners at Old Trafford backfired, with England having just the one innings.

                  Rassie van der Dussen has already been ruled out of the third Test with a broken finger and the struggling Aiden Markram may be dropped given his highest Test score in his past 13 Test innings is 42.

                  But if Markram is omitted, South Africa — without the experienced Temba Bavuma this series because of an elbow injury — could have to select two inexperienced players in Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo, neither of whom has played any meaningful cricket for weeks.

                  The Proteas have managed just one individual fifty in the first two Tests — opener Sarel Erwee’s 73 at Lord’s.

                  England squad:

                  Zak Crawley (Kent), Alex Lees (Durham), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham, capt), Ben Foakes (Surrey, wkt), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), James Anderson (Lancashire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Potts (Durham)

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