Archer injury scare for England ahead of Cape Town Test

Jofra Archer

England were sweating on the fitness of Jofra Archer ahead of the second Test against South Africa with the paceman unable to bowl in practice on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow.

Archer was able to bat in the nets and also took part in fielding drills in Cape Town but could not bowl, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

The 24-year-old has struggled to replicate his Ashes success during his first overseas forays for England, but did complete a five-wicket haul in South Africa’s second innings at Centurion.

The second Test of the four-match series starts at Newlands on Friday, with England looking to get back on level terms after a chastening defeat in the opener.

Archer’s absence would be a major blow for a squad that has been battling with an illness outbreak since arriving in South Africa. If Archer were ruled out, though, it would create space in the side for a spinner with some suggestion before this setback that England might even consider dropping record-breaker James Anderson or Stuart Broad to create such a vacancy.

Dom Bess and Matt Parkinson would appear to be competing for that spot with Jack Leach still struggling.