Yorkshire batter Harry Brook comes into the team in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow as England aim to seal a series victory over South Africa; watch the third Test at The Oval live on Sky Sports from 10am on Thursday
Wednesday 7 September 2022 12:37, UK
Harry Brook will make his Test debut in the decisive match of England’s series against South Africa at The Oval.
The right-hander comes into the team in place of fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow, who was ruled out for the third Test and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup by a freak injury suffered on the golf course.
Brook, who made his international T20 debut during England's tour of the West Indies in January, is set to bat at five in the order as the hosts aim to secure a series win.
Bairstow 'freak golf injury' rules him out of third Test and T20 World Cup
"I'm really looking forward to going out and watching him play this week, but he's deserved his opportunity," England captain Ben Stokes said.
"I think I mentioned a few weeks ago he will be someone who represents England in all three formats for a long time.
"It's exciting to see him get his opportunity this week with the whites on."
The 23-year-old is currently averaging 107.44 with the bat for Yorkshire in Division One of the County Championship this season and is a former England U19 captain.
He has been backed by fellow batter Ollie Pope to take that form into the Test arena as well now he has been handed a long-awaited chance after spending much of this summer with the England squad.
"I've been on U19 tours with Harry, and I've played with him since I was 18, and he's a seriously good player," Pope said.
"He's obviously been in ridiculous form this year and he's 100 per cent got the game to go out and take that into Test cricket as well.
"He's got the mindset, he loves batting and he's all cricket as well, so I'm excited for him if he does get that opportunity this week. He's a top player and an exciting prospect."
Brook's inclusion in place of the injured Bairstow is the only change to the team following the innings-and-85-run victory over South Africa at Old Trafford in the second Test.
Victory for England would wrap up a series victory over South Africa, having levelled it at 1-1 with that win in Manchester.
Alex Lees (Durham), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham, captain), Ben Foakes (Surrey, wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire).