English all-rounder Chris Woakes has been ruled out of the four-match Test series against South Africa. After getting injured in the first match of CT 2017, he was expected to return to the squad for the second half of the series but he has not been able to recover completely in a Test match.
Woakes sustained a side strain during the series opener of the Champions Trophy against Bangladesh, after bowling just two overs. Later, Steven Finn replaced him for the rest of the tournament, where the hosts lost to the semifinal to Pakistan.
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Despite the fact that Woakes did return to training but there is still some stiffness in his arm, thus restricting him to bowl to his full potential. Even if he manages to get fit ahead of the last Test, the ECB is expected to ask him to play the county game so as to prove his fitness. He is expected to make a return for the series against Windies, which comprises of three Tests, one T20I and five ODIs.
There is positive news for England as Jake Ball is expected to be fit for the final Test match of the series. Before the start of Test series, he was ruled out for a period of two weeks, and also went onto miss Royal London Cup final. Toby Roland-Jones was named as a replacement and he was retained in the 12-member squad for the next game but could not make the final cut as England skipper Joe Root retained the same playing XI. Comeback of Ball could mean that Roland-Jones might be dropped upon his comeback.