Ben Stokes resumes training for Test but illness worries mount for England


Ben Stokes is because of prepare with England on Christmas Day together with his father, Ged, having moved into "steady situation" in hospital.

Ben missed England's training on Christmas Eve to be next to his father's bed, but now he could play in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at Centurion.

"I just want to throw all our support behind him and his family and just stress the importance of trying to respect their privacy at this time".

Johannesburg: Seasoned South Africa pacer Vernon Philander will retire from global cricket following the upcoming Test series against England.

The duo has been roped in as covers after pacers Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer and left-arm spinner Jack Leach were reported to have been struggling with illness.

Bavuma's absence could open the door for Rassie van der Dussen to make his Test debut. We're trying to manage it as best we can.

When it comes to this century, in a total of three Test series, England have won two while the one in 2009 was tied at 1-1. Jacques Kallis, one of South Africa's greats, has been brought in as a batting consultant - again by Smith - and there's also a new bowling coach.

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In an global career that has spanned more than 12 years, Philander has played 97 matches across all three formats, taking a combined 261 wickets with 1 784 runs scored.

"A decision on a possible replacement will be made after the South Africa A and CSA Franchise Four-Day matches that are taking place this weekend", a statement released by CSA as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

The series wasn't part of the Test Championship.

South Africa named six uncapped players in their squad for the first two Tests and lost Temba Bavuma to a hip flexor muscle strain on Thursday.

This enhanced the likelihood of Stokes playing in the Test at Centurion but selection problems still remained for Joe Root.

"One of the many things that have stood out for me with Vern is his character, his determination and the way that he has always been up for a fight and a challenge has shown the heart of the man", he said. This is expected to be a tough series for England but the team will be desperate to start on a positive note. "I think he will be very much at home".