England bowler Jofra Archer in bowling action during England nets at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, January 13 2020. Picture: STU FORESTER/GETTY IMAGES
England bowler Jofra Archer in bowling action during England nets at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, January 13 2020. Picture: STU FORESTER/GETTY IMAGES

There is a fast bowler’s position up for grabs in the England starting line-up and assistant coach Paul Collingwood has urged the trio of hopefuls to prove they are worthy of selection.

England face SA in the third Test starting at St George’s Park on Thursday without the experience of James Anderson.

The 37-year-old‚ England’s leading wicket-taker‚ has been ruled out of the series due to a rib injury, having returned from the sidelines ahead of the Centurion Test.

Though Collingwood admits Anderson will be missed‚ the former England captain is confident the tourists have enough in reserve to fill the void.

“James is going to be a huge miss‚” Collingwood said before training on Monday. “The experience that he brings to the group‚ his skill level and also the communication that he brings out on the pitch.

“Of course that’s going to be a huge miss but we have got some guys in that dressing room who are desperate to play. We’ve got two training sessions until the Test match and it’s up to them to prove they are the ones needing to be in this match.”

Collingwood was referring to Jofra Archer‚ Mark Wood and Chris Woakes.

Archer missed the 189-run victory to level the series in Cape Town because of a sore elbow and Wood and Woakes are yet to feature in the series.

Collingwood said England would be after much of the same come Thursday as they bid to take a lead in the series heading into the final Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

“This isn’t all just about winning a series in SA. This a plan for playing with the Kookaburra ball for many years to come.

“If we can have that similar kind of attitude we have got an athletic team now and a few who can dive around and save the runs as well and build pressure that way. We are doing a lot of good things and hopefully we can continue with that kind of form this week.”

“I think we set the benchmark in terms of our first innings bowling performance [at Newlands] and how we went about it. Our accuracy was fantastic. And that’s pretty much the blueprint of how we want to go about our cricket.”