Joe Root provides updates on Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach after illness hits England camp
Joe Root insists Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach are on the mend after they were ruled out of England’s Test warm-up against South Africa A due to illness.
England’s preparations for the four-Test series in South Africa have been hampered by an outbreak of illness over the past week.
Archer, Broad and Leach missed Friday’s warm-up match, with England calling up Craig Overton and Dominic Bess for the winter tour as cover.
The first Test against South Africa starts on Boxing Day and Root says England will make a ‘late call’ on bowlers Archer, Broad and Leach.
Asked for an update on the trio, the England captain said: ‘They are improving. Theyre definitely improving.
‘Its been quite frustrating especially for those guys. Its not ideal preparation but these things happen.
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‘Were trying to manage it as well as we can. Theyve been back in training so hopefully they continue to improve and can make themselves available for the first Test.
‘Its tricky and theres not much we can do except give them time to show theyre ready. We will have to make a call late on I think.’
Batting coach Graham Thorpe is also optimistic that England will have a full squad to pick from for the opening Test at Centurion.
‘I would say they are going in the right direction but I suppose the downside is the lack of match time for those guys,’ Thorpe told Sky Sports. ‘We will have to keep assessing them leading into the Test.
‘The seamers got a lot of miles under their legs in New Zealand so we have to factor in how they feel physically and how much you feel they are confident going in to a Test and performing well for five days.’
England record wicket-taker James Anderson is set to make his comeback from injury in South Africa. The 37-year-old broke down in the first Ashes Test last summer and has not played since.
‘It’s phenomenal,’ Thorpe said about Anderson’s longevity. ‘Jimmy was just coming into the side on my last tour in 2004 and he is still here 15 years later still performing.
‘It’s great to have him back as he is very skilful, keeps it very tight and creates opportunities.
‘On South African surfaces you generally get a little bit more carry – and that is something Jimmy Anderson will benefit from.’