Roland-Jones gets nod as Wood's cut down | cricket.com.au

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Roland-Jones gets nod as Wood's cut down

A heel injury for England speedster Mark Wood has opened the door for Toby Roland-Jones to make his Test debut against South Africa

England will have at least two debutants in their playing XI for the third Test against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday, with bowler Toby Roland-Jones to play his maiden Test in place of Mark Wood.

He will join Essex batsman Tom Westley, who replaces another injured player in the under-fire Gary Ballance, in joining the pantheon of English Test cricketers, with the players to receive Test caps Nos.677 and 678.

"Wood is not 100 percent fit so he's going to miss out this week and Toby Roland-Jones comes in for a debut," Root told a press conference ahead of clash at The Oval.

England quick Wood has been struggling with foot injuries, and a heel injury has cost him participation in the third Test, the 100th to be played at The Oval in south London.

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Wood was forced off the field during the Trent Bridge match where South Africa secured a thumping win that leveled the series, and the quick was down on pace in the match.

The left heel bruising is not connected to the chronic ankle injury that has required three operations, and the bowler is yet to play three consecutive Tests in his career.

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Roland-Jones has been a regular in the England Test squad and made his one-day international debut earlier this season in a match against the Proteas before the Champions Trophy tournament. 

He bowled Middlesex to the County Championship's division one title last season, and could yet see county teammate Dawid Malan become a third England debutant in the match, with selectors still mulling dropping ineffectual spinner Liam Dawson.

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Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson admitted he had found the step up to international cricket a steep learning curve this week, and his future at Test level is unclear.

After making his Test debut in India last December, Dawson took two wickets in each innings of the first Test against the Proteas at Lord's, before bowling just 18 overs and taking one wicket in the second at Trent Bridge.

Roland-Jones's Middlesex colleague Steven Finn, a veteran of 36 Tests, has been called up as stand by in the event of any further injuries to England's pace attack.

England (from): Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Tom Westley, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Stuart Broad, Toby Roland-Jones, James Anderson, Dawid Malan

South Africa (probable): Heino Kuhn, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Faf du Plessis (capt), Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel