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Jofra Archer an injury doubt for Newlands Test

Jofra Archer is an injury doubt for the second Test against South Africa at Newlands, beginning on Friday (January 3), because of a sore right elbow.

Archer was unable to bowl during England's training session on New Year's Day in Cape Town although he did bat in the nets and take part in fielding drills. That would suggest the elbow injury is not particularly serious although the recovery time before the start of the second Test is minimal. Archer will continue to be monitored.

The 24 year-old picked up five wickets in South Africa's second innings at Centurion and is England's quickest bowler by a distance. Should he not be available because of injury, and given Mark Wood is still not fit enough to be considered for selection, it would leave the tourists' attack without a genuine pace option.

If he does recover in time, it would leave England with a potentially tricky decision. If they opt to play a spinner at Newlands, instead of the all-seam attack they selected in the first Test, one of the fast-bowlers who played at SuperSport Park will have to miss out. That is not a straightforward decision.

Archer's wickets, his third five-for in just seven matches, means he cannot be left out and Sam Curran was arguably England's best bowler in the first innings at Centurion, picking up four wickets. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the other two fast-bowlers selected, have more than a thousand Test wickets between them.

"In Jimmy and Stuart we have a wealth of experience and we'd be really stupid not to take that into consideration every game," Chris Silverwood, England's head coach, said. "It would be naive of us not to do that.

"But equally you do want your youngsters to come through and if we're going to make room for a spinner then we've got to have a look at that. We have to look at which seamers will be right for that particular pitch and choose from there. If there is a big decision to be made, we're not afraid to make it."

All of England's squad trained at Newlands on New Year's Day including Dom Sibley, the latest to be afflicted by the sickness bug that has swept through the touring party.

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