Bairstow to keep wicket for England in Centurion after Buttler falls ill

Jos Buttler has become the latest England player to go down with illness and will not keep wicket in the first session on day three of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

A bug has caused chaos in the touring camp ever since their arrival in Johannesburg, affecting the preparations of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer then ruling three other players out of contention for the series opener.

Buttler, who received an MBE in the New Year Honours list, had been unaffected until Saturday morning but felt unwell on arrival at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Jos Buttler has fallen ill on the third morning of the first Test.
Jos Buttler has fallen ill on the third morning of the first Test (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Jonny Bairstow will take the gloves in his absence, with England monitoring Buttler throughout the session.

South Africa will resume on 72 for four, a lead of 175, meaning the tourists need quick wickets to shift the momentum. Whether or not Buttler will be able to bat, and in what level of comfort, remains to be seen.

Ollie Pope, who would have played in the series opener had he not started the match in quarantine at the team hotel, has improved over the last 24 hours and has rejoined the squad at the ground.

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