Jofra Archer was ruled out of England’s fourth and final Test against South Africa at the eleventh hour, aggravating his right elbow injury in the warm-up.
Archer has missed England’s victories in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth with the problem but was expected to return at Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium after turning in two strong performances in the nets over the past 48 hours.
The first morning was washed out by showers but when the teams began their preparations for a belated 1.20pm start, it was immediately clear that Archer was in trouble.
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He bowled just a few deliveries on the practice wicket before heading a conversation with the team doctor and then spoke with captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood.
Archer was soon being consoled by pats on the back from his team-mates and his absence from the match was confirmed when the XIs were handed in.
England’s showed just one change, Chris Woakes in as the fifth seamer in place of spinner Dom Bess, with paceman Mark Wood passed fit following his comeback from a torn side last week.
The Proteas also went in without a spinner at the traditionally pace-friendly venue as left-armer Beuran Hendricks took over from Keshav Maharaj.
There were two other changes in the home side, Temba Bavuma replacing the off-form Zubayr Hamza and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius in for the banned Kagiso Rabada.
South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis lost his seventh toss in a row, with Root choosing to bat first.