Recent Match Report – England vs South Africa 1st Test 2022

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Toss South Africa chose to bowl vs England

Dean Elgar called correctly at the toss and opted to bowl on a cloudy, humid morning at Lord’s for the start of the first Test. That means England will have make the running with the bat for the first time in a Test since Ben Stokes took over as captain at the start of the summer.

South Africa were able to include Kagiso Rabada after straining ankle ligaments earlier in the tour, with Elgar saying he had “pulled up 100%”. Rabada will lead a pace attack including Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, with South Africa also opting for the extra bowler in Marco Jansen, the tall left-armer who will bat at No. 7.

Elgar had announced in his final press conference before the start of the series that he was “not going to entertain” any more talk of Bazball – as England’s new approach to Test cricket has been dubbed – but he could not avoid a reference to his opponents’ preference for chasing in the fourth innings under Stokes.

“Overheads play a big part in that, bit undecided coming here today,” Elgar said. “But nothing to do with what they’ve done in the past, more to do with conditions.”

England had announced their team in advance, as has become customary, with Stokes declaring that for everyone currently in the XI, “the shirt is theirs”. That consistency of selection means England line up with the same side that took on New Zealand at Lord’s at the start of June, for Brendon McCullum’s first match in charge, with Zak Crawley continuing to receive backing as one of the openers and James Anderson lining up for his 173rd Test, and first since turning 40 last month.

South Africa come into the series on top of the World Test Championship standings, but England have won all of their four Tests this summer, beating New Zealand 3-0 and levelling the 2021 series against India.

England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Alex Lees, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Ben Stokes (capt.), 7 Ben Foakes, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Matthew Potts, 11 James Anderson

South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Sarel Erwee, 3 Keegan Petersen, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 Kyle Verreynne, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Anrich Nortje

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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