Published: Thu, July 06, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

England v South Africa: Liam Dawson picked ahead of Toby Roland-Jones

England v South Africa: Liam Dawson picked ahead of Toby Roland-Jones

Root with confirmed that Liam Dawson, Hampshire's spin-bowling all-rounder, will bat at No8 and thus Toby Roland-Jones will wait for his debut, and targeted an upturn in fortunes for a side that lost a record-equalling eight Tests a year ago to expedite Alastair Cook's resignation. In five years, no batsman has scored more than his 4,594 Test runs and only India captain Virat Kohli betters him in all forms of the global game.

Alastair Cook He's back in the ranks, which can be a problem for some former captains, but not for Cook, given his character.

When asked if his batting would be a boost for England Dawson replied: "The way England have played in the last few years you know they have batted deep and obviously that helps but as I said let's wait and see what team they decide to go with".

Ballance returns to the worldwide stage after being absent since last October and will come in at the fall of the first wicket, with Joe Root dropping down a place to number four in his first Test as captain and Jonny Bairstow at five. "We had a tough year last year but I think the squad is very settled, has learned a lot from that and is ready to put that right this year". Toby is the unfortunate one to miss out but he's really impressed everyone with the way he has gone about his business.

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Root is not the only first time captain on show.

On his partnership with Ben Stokes, the new vice-captain, Root said: "He's always been a bit of an attack dog in whatever side he's played in".

I'm therefore going to give him the nod in this first innings market and I'm also going to side with him for the most England runs in the series at 9/4.

Stuart Broad, who had some injury concern in the build-up to the first Test has been declared fit, following his part in Nottinghamshire's victorious Royal London One-Day Cup squad that beat Surrey at Lord's on Saturday.

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