After winning one game each of the four-match series, both England and South Africa are facing each other in the third Test at the St George’s Oval in Port Elizabeth.
Before the start of the game, England’s pacer Mark Wood was called on to join the squad after James Anderson’s exit due to an injury. However, this raised questions amongst the former English cricketers as they were anticipating Jofra Archer’s return in the playing XI.
During the first Test, Archer suffered a sore elbow and missed out on the second Test. Since Archer wasn’t looking fit and Anderson was out, England picked right-arm fast bowler Mark Wood to fill the vacuum.
“Mark’s ready to come in and do a job. You need those types of bowlers, especially on surfaces at Port Elizabeth, where you might need a touch of X-Factor; a 90mph-plus bowler that can get the batsmen jumping around,” England assistant coach Paul Collingwood was quoted as saying by BBC.
However, England’s former cricketer Kevin Pietersen wasn’t impressed with Wood’s return, and he urged the English team management to go for Archer in the Port Elizabeth Test.
Pietersen even took a dig at Wood along with England’s team management and said that it would be stupid if the visitors play with Wood and not Archer in the third Test.
“England would be STUPID not to play Jofra in PE if he’s fit!
I’d rather face Wood, ALL DAY LONG!” tweeted Pietersen.
England would be STUPID to not play Jofra in PE if he’s fit!
I’d rather face Wood, ALL DAY LONG!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 15, 2020
England’s former captain Nasser Hussain also backed Archer ahead of Wood. In his DailyMail column, he wrote, “If Jofra Archer is not fit, then I can understand England picking Mark Wood, but if Archer says he is confident, then England have to put their faith in him.”
Meanwhile, England have won the toss and elected to bat first in the third Test.