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England v South Africa: second Test, day one – live! – The Guardian

Joe Root recognises it cannot possibly be so simple in Nottingham. The expectation is that the pitch will not deteriorate so rapidly and that South Africa, with the return of their captain, Faf du Plessis, will rediscover the discipline that has often been their hallmark.

Usually they hold their catches and it would be surprising and a source of much distress in their camp if their bowlers overstepped as frequently as they did at Lord’s. Sadly Kagiso Rabada, banned for one game thanks to his own exuberance, the intrusive presence of the stump mic and a blinkered adherence to the letter of the law, will not be one of those bowlers.

There are still conundrums about Root’s team. They possess a reassuring spine, starting with Alastair Cook at the top through to Root and on to the all‑rounders, Jonny Bairstow, Stokes and Moeen Ali, with plenty of experience at the bottom provided Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad remain fit. There are also at least three players who have yet to establish themselves as regulars, Gary Ballance, Keaton Jennings and Dawson.

England v South Africa: second Test, day one – live! – The Guardian

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