Quinton de Kock does not believe Jofra Archer's possible absence from the second Test between South Africa and England will make a difference to the Proteas' preparations.

De Kock was South Africa's star performer with the bat in their win in the first Test, with his 95 in the first innings providing the hosts with a platform from which to build on after initially succumbing to 97-4.

England paceman Archer struggled to have an impact in South Africa's first innings, finishing with figures of 1-65, though the 24-year-old took 5-102 in his second spell with the ball.

However, there are doubts over whether Archer will be fit to participate in the second Test in Cape Town, as he was unable to bowl on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow, though the fast bowler joined in with fielding drills and did bat in the nets.

De Kock does not foresee a massive change in how South Africa will approach the match even if Archer is not fit, however.

"To be honest, I don't think it changes anything for me at least," De Kock told reporters at Newlands. 

"They'll bring in Mark Wood or something, he also bowls 145kmp/h, so it doesn't really change much.

"Maybe playing on this wicket, pace will be nice to face. We'll have to see what happens, but it doesn't change much for me at least."

South Africa endured a difficult year in 2019, after a disappointing performance at the World Cup and a 3-0 Test series defeat to India.

With their 107-run win at Centurion, however, De Kock says the Proteas' side is now full of confidence heading into the first Test of 2020.

"The guys are very focused at the moment," the wicketkeeper added.

"I'm not saying they weren't focused before, but I think, honestly, the confidence was down and then with this win now the confidence, I wouldn't say it's flying, but it's very high at the moment.

"We've got a great team environment now; some new guys, some very funny guys and some great characters. It's a good environment to be in at the moment. We just need to bring it on to the field also."

Kevin Pietersen says either James Anderson or Stuart Broad should be dropped for the Newlands Test against South Africa, but Jofra Archer is a doubt for England.

England were soundly beaten in the first match of the four-Test series after captain Joe Root won the toss and put the hosts in, South Africa easing to a 107-run victory inside four days.

With Jack Leach among 11 players struck down by illness, England played without a frontline spinner at Centurion but they are expected to rejig their attack for the second Test, which starts on Friday in Cape Town.

Archer took five wickets in South Africa's second innings while Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, managed only a single scalp in each dig on his return to Test action after injury.

However, Archer could not bowl on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow, though the fast bowler joined in with fielding drills and was fit enough to bat in the nets.

Root's side were rolled for 181 and 268 at Centurion and their former star Pietersen feels either Broad or Anderson should be sacrificed to strengthen a struggling batting line-up.

"England HAVE TO drop either Broad or Anderson for Newlands & play another batter, if they want to win...!" the South Africa-born former batsman wrote on Twitter.

Leach's Somerset team-mate Dom Bess is a spinning option for England, while Lancashire's uncapped leggie Matt Parkinson, 23, is also in the squad.

Reports have suggested England are likely to replace Anderson with Bess, with Ollie Pope also in line to return in the middle order at the expense of Jonny Bairstow after recovering from illness.

Ben Stokes thought England may have been forced into an emergency toilet paper order after illness spread through the camp in what the team have nicknamed 'The Cursed Tour' to South Africa.

All-rounder Stokes spent time off the field – as did captain Joe Root and Jos Buttler – during a 107-run defeat in the first Test at Centurion, which Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach missed due to sickness.

Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Joe Denly, Mark Wood and Dom Sibley have also been affected, so Dom Bess and Craig Overton, who were called up as potential cover at the start of the tour, have been retained for the second match in Cape Town, which begins on Friday.

"We've nicknamed it 'The Cursed Tour' so far because it wasn't a great time for us in terms of the team trying to build up to an important Test series," Stokes told the Mirror.

"In the dressing room we have really been battling through a tough time of it with sickness, and without looking for sympathy it is fair to say guys really put their bodies on the line to get out there and give everything they had to fight for England as much as they could.

"It was the dodgiest changing room I've ever been in and at one stage I thought we were going to have to get an emergency order of toilet paper in Centurion, it was that bad.

"It will never be an excuse, but I hope people can understand that physically and mentally it was a huge challenge, getting up in the night, not sleeping, not eating. It all has an effect and over the course of a match you really feel it."

Stokes' preparation for the opening match of the series was thrown into further turmoil when his father Ged was taken to hospital in Johannesburg in a critical condition, though he has since improved.

After starring in England's Cricket World Cup success and masterminding an incredible victory over Australia in the third Ashes Test this year, Stokes said the health worry over his dad showed that family is the most important aspect of his life.

"If someone could say, 'I'll take everything away from you that happened this summer, but your dad is happy, healthy and watching you play cricket,' then I'd say yeah, swap it," Stokes added.

"Thankfully where he is now to where he was when he went in has been an unbelievable turnaround, but he's got a way to go."

England coach Chris Silverwood says he will have no issues dropping James Anderson or Stuart Broad for the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Silverwood's side lost the first Test at Centurion by 107 runs, with the batsmen again failing to deliver as concerns over their suitability for the longest format once more came to the fore.

Anderson, featuring for the first time since the first Ashes Test in August, took a wicket with the match's first delivery and finished with figures of 2-116, while Broad finished on 5-100.

Though pleased with the experience and know-how his veteran pacemen provide, Silverwood – who elected not to go with a spinner at Centurion – insisted neither are certainties to play with Sam Curran and Jofra Archer impressing.

"In Jimmy and Stuart we have a wealth of experience and we'd be really stupid not to take that into consideration every game," Silverwood told reporters.

"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.

"We started off planning to bowl at the top of off [stump] on the third morning. Then the tailenders frustrated us and we went off-piste a bit at that point.

"We formulated a new plan and that worked well. We've got to make sure that when we're bowling we're very clear on what we have to do and we stick to the plan."

Silverwood also pledged to stand by Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, who have both struggled for Test runs this year.

"We've just got to keep backing them as we know they're both very fine players," Silverwood said. "They're an asset to a team.

"Jonny wasn't in the team going into New Zealand, but he did a lot of work behind the scenes.

"He was in Potchefstroom and then Cape Town with the fast-bowling group, facing the bowlers and working on his game. He worked particularly hard and earned his way back into this team.

"We know Jos is a fine player and we know he can hurt people. We've got to keep giving him the opportunity to do that."

Jofra Archer was put under pressure by a South Africa team who will not be intimidated by him in Cape Town, according to Proteas coach Mark Boucher.

South Africa halted a five-game losing streak in Tests by beating England by 107 runs on the fourth afternoon in Centurion, with pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje taking seven of the nine remaining second-innings wickets on offer.

If those two made the most of conditions helpful to fast bowling, the same could not always be said for Archer.

The 24-year-old burst onto the Test scene during this year's Ashes series in England but struggled as Joe Root's men went down in New Zealand last month.

He took the solitary wicket of tailender Keshav Maharaj during South Africa's first innings, while a haul of 5-102 second time around cost a run a ball and was marred by a pair of attempted slow balls at nightwatchman Nortje on the second evening coming out as beamers.

"No, I wouldn't see him as England's greatest threat. He's got a spell in him that can ruffle a few feathers," Boucher said afterwards.

"We were in a position in the game to take him on a bit more. We were playing ahead of the game.

"We're in a position where we understand he's a wicket-taker, he's going to take wickets. But we're also not dartboards.

"I've always encouraged the batter to set up to score and, if there are opportunities to score, you've got to take that."

The second Test begins in Cape Town on January 3, and Boucher said of Archer: "He's under a bit of pressure as well because he was going for quite a few runs. He's a threat, yes, but they've also got quite a few other bowlers who are threats in that line-up.

"I'm pretty happy with the way that we played him. He bowled well in the second innings, bowled with some heat on an up-and-down wicket.

"You expect him to take wickets but I also thought that in moments of the game we put him under pressure as well, which helped us get a very good lead."

Sam Curran was the pick of England's attack during the first innings, while Archer's place should be safe for the second Test.

Should Root wish to select a specialist spinner from his illness-ravaged squad, it could mean either of James Anderson or Stuart Broad making way.

"They've got fantastic records behind them and have produced some fantastic things for England in the very recent past," Root told a post-game news conference.

"You don't want to wish those guys away, looking back and thinking you've forced Jimmy Anderson out. You look at him physically and he's a fantastic specimen. He's got a fantastic record in these conditions, as has Stuart.

"It's a fine balance, you've got to look at the surface and look at the attack that can best counter that and the opposition you come up against.

"If difficult decisions have to be made down the line, they will be. But if they don't, they won't.

"It'd be silly to push fantastic experience and a wealth of knowledge of fast bowling out of the door when there's no need to."

England were unable to avoid defeat in the first Test against South Africa, but Joe Root was proud of the character his illness-ridden side showed at Centurion.

Root was among a host of players and backroom staff in the England camp to be hampered by a sickness bug either before or during the series opener.

After collapsing from 142-3 to 181 all out in their first innings, the tourists threatened to pull off an unlikely chase of 376 for victory as Rory Burns (84) and Root (48) dug in, but England were ultimately dismissed for 268 on day four.

"It's been a really tough week off the field - pretty much everything has been thrown at the group," said England's skipper at the post-match presentation.

"We had 10 guys go down ill throughout the week or in the build-up to the week. And I think credit to everyone, they stood up, tried to put in the best performance possible and at no stage have they let anyone down.

"I think pretty much everyone has been ill now, so hopefully that's out the way ... and we can all prepare extremely well and bounce back strong."

Root insisted his team believed they could pull off a similar chase to the one they managed in this year's third Ashes Test at Headingley, where Ben Stokes' sensational 135 underpinned a successful pursuit of 359 against Australia.

"It's not been long since we've seen similar chases from a very similar group of players," Root added. "We got ourselves in a position, even at lunch with me and Ben there. It was pretty much the same equation as it was at Headingley a few months back.

"So we were fully confident we could chase those runs down. We just knew it was going to take one or two reasonable partnerships and we needed to negotiate the new ball very well."

England's decision to bowl first at the toss was questioned after South Africa recovered from 111-5 to post 284 at the start of the contest, but Root said: "I still believe it was a 50-50 call.

"You get a side 111-5 and you really think you've got ahead of the game. So maybe a slight opportunity missed there as well but ultimately you have to give credit to South Africa. I thought they played very well."

Addressing England's own first-innings collapse, Root added: "I think that was where the game was won and lost. It's really disappointing but in the same sense it's really pleasing to see us very quickly put in a better performance [with the bat] in the second innings."

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis is hopeful his side's 107-run victory over England in the first Test at Centurion heralds the start of a brighter period for the Proteas.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) was blighted by a series of off-field issues, including the suspension of CEO Thabang Moroe, disputes with the South African Cricketers' Association and the loss of a major sponsor, prior to their series with England getting under way.

However, following the appointments of Graeme Smith as interim director of cricket and Mark Boucher as head coach, Du Plessis' men began a new era in encouraging fashion by winning the opening Test on Sunday, bowling England out for 268 after the tourists had been set an unlikely target of 376 for victory.

"We needed that," said Du Plessis at the post-match presentation. "Obviously the last couple of months, as a Test team, have been tough for us, but we worked really hard this week.

"I thought it was a very, very good Test match, two teams fighting really hard all the way, and today's effort was incredible.

"We haven't won a Test match in a while. It's the start of a new chapter. We want to make sure we're improving as a Test team again. We want to go up to better things again and this is just the start.

"We know it's going to be a long journey to get there, but we'll make sure we keep working hard and putting in the right things."

Du Plessis was particularly delighted by the efforts of a bowling department that is set to be weakened when Vernon Philander retires from international cricket after this series to take up a Kolpak deal in English county cricket.

Anrich Nortje shone in his first home Test, while Kagiso Rabada claimed seven wickets in the match as the ever-impressive Philander received able support.

"I thought Anrich Nortje was really good," said Du Plessis. "Obviously we expect that from KG [Rabada], he's a world-class performer for us, but Anrich, in his first Test at home, he's probably not someone that you would think has a lot of control. We know he has got a lot of pace, but I thought he bowled with great control, executed the right lengths to different batters and bowled with some really good pace as well.

"So [there are] real good signs for the Test team moving forward. Obviously, we've lost quite a few bowlers and with Vern deciding that he wants to go and move on to greener pastures, we need new bowlers to step up to the platform now.

"We've had Morne [Morkel] and Dale [Steyn] and other guys like that, KG, step up when there was old bowlers bowling at the time and now we're gonna need one or two more to come to the fore."

Anrich Nortje starred as a disciplined South Africa attack snuffed out England's hopes of an improbable victory in the first Test at Centurion.

Nortje claimed the key wickets of England's top scorer Rory Burns for 84 and captain Joe Root two shy of a battling half-century as the Proteas won by 107 runs.

Bowling with pace and hostility to make the most of a pitch giving variable bounce to the pacemen, Nortje (3-56) was the standout performer as South Africa dispensed with the loose third-evening efforts that left England with a sense they might challenge a lofty victory target of 376.

Kagiso Rabada ensured Jos Buttler's blistering 22-run contribution was no more than a brief cameo to snuff out England's last realistic hopes, before bowling Stuart Broad and wrapping things up with figures of 4-103 - ending a run of five consecutive defeats in Tests for Faf du Plessis' men in the process.

No batsman other than Burns managed to pass 50 for England in the second innings as the tourists, whose camp was ravaged by illness before and during the match, collapsed from 204-3 to 268 all out.

However, the damage was truly done by a pitiful first-innings effort of 181 that meant a deficit of 103 after Root's eyebrow-raising decision to bowl after winning the toss.

The uncapped Keegan Petersen has been called into South Africa's squad for the second Test against England in Cape Town as a replacement for the injured Aiden Markram.

Petersen, 26, plays his domestic cricket for the Knights and averages 41 with the bat from 88 first-class matches.

After making a century for South Africa A against England prior to the first Test at Centurion, he has now earned a first call-up to the Proteas senior side with Markram having been ruled out of the series.

In a press release announcing Petersen's addition to the squad, Cricket South Africa acknowledged the batsman's "consistently good performances in the CSA domestic franchise four-day series over an extended period of time".

Markram fractured a finger on his left hand on day two of the ongoing first Test and is set to undergo surgery next week.

Ben Stokes' Headingley heroics give England hope of achieving what would be their record Test run chase, says batting coach Graeme Thorpe.

Chasing 376 to beat South Africa in the opening Test, England ended day three on 121-1 for their second innings, a marked improvement on their 181 all out in the first.

Rory Burns is 77 not out and Joe Denly remains unbeaten on 10, with Stokes and Jonny Bairstow still to bat along with Joe Root and Jos Buttler, who are both struggling with illness.

Stokes inspired England to an improbable one-wicket win over Australia in the third Test against Australia with a magnificent unbeaten 135 and Thorpe feels the camp have belief a similar result is possible at SuperSport Park.

Asked if Stokes' Headingley knock gives England hope, Thorpe told Sky Sports: "It does. 

"It doesn't guarantee us a victory and we know we've got a long way to go, but we were pleased with that. If you gave us this position a day ago we would have taken it. 

"We have belief. We've got a chance. If we have a good first session, South Africa will look at the scoreboard. 

"We have belief that if we play well, we can put them under pressure. It's always nice to see players bounce back and show character."

Bairstow kept wicket for England with the illnesses to regular keeper Buttler and captain Root the latest in a long list of health issues within the squad.

"It hasn't been a straightforward Test match for us with players coming and going with illness," said Thorpe. "Hopefully Jos Buttler and Joe Root will have another night's sleep.

"We didn't bat well enough first innings. We let ourselves down. The pitch seemed to do a bit more on Friday. 

"We'll break it down. We know we've got to play well and when we're in a good position, we've got to be more ruthless."

South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander has agreed terms to join Somerset on a Kolpak deal in 2020 after announcing his impending international retirement.

Philander this week revealed he will end his Proteas career after the current four-match Test series against England.

Somerset on Saturday confirmed the 34-year-old will ply his trade in England next year, subject to the deal being approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Philander is set to follow in the footsteps of several former South Africa team-mates – the latest of which was Hashim Amla, who is returning to Surrey next year.

"I'm really pleased to have agreed personal terms with Somerset. It's a great club and I really enjoyed my time there a few years ago," Philander, who represented the county previously in 2012, told Somerset's official website.

"I know that they won the 50-over cup last year and came close in the [County] Championship and hopefully I'll be able to help them to another successful year in 2020. 

"Right now, I am 100 per cent focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter."

Philander was outstanding in England's first innings of the ongoing opening Test of the four-match series, taking 4-16 from 14.2 overs as the tourists were dismissed for only 181.

England's much-maligned top order finally showed some resolve to preserve the tourists' slim chance of pulling off a remarkable first Test triumph against South Africa.

It appeared South Africa were nailed-on victors when they capitalised on some shoddy England bowling to make 272 all out in their second innings and set Joe Root's men an improbable target of 376 at Centurion.

If England do achieve the unlikely, it would be their record run-chase, surpassing the 359 against Australia at Headingley earlier this year.

The early signs were encouraging with Rory Burns and Dom Sibley digging deep - aided by a couple of moments of fortune - before the latter was dismissed late on day three as England closed on 121-1, requiring another 255 to take an early advantage in the four-match series.

Burns was the stand-out performer, reaching 77 not out at the close, and playing the dominant role in an opening partnership of 92 on a deteriorating pitch.

It could have been so different, however, had he not opted to review when given out leg before to Kagiso Rabada in the first over. Replays showed the ball would have been missing off-stump and he had another let-off when Rassie van der Dussen spilt a presentable chance in the slips off Vernon Philander.

After that he played near faultless cricket, combining stout defence and fluent shotmaking to frustrate a Proteas attack that lacked the spark they had earlier in the match.

The one breakthrough came when Sibley pushed a harmless delivery back to spinner Keshav Maharaj for 29 but the hosts could make no further inroads with Joe Denly unbeaten on six at stumps.

While no doubt pleased with their late resistance, England will rue a shambolic opening hour that, had it been avoided, would have meant a more manageable run chase.

They were not helped by captain Root spending as much time in quarantine in the England dressing room as he did out in the middle but that was no excuse for a torrid opening to the day that saw a couple of missed run-out opportunities, some sloppy outfielding and a verbal spat between senior bowler Stuart Broad and Root's deputy Ben Stokes.

Add in some woeful bowling with Broad and Jofra Archer, in particular, persisting with a short-pitched barrage that never looked likely to reap rewards and it was easy to see why England have appeared on a downward trajectory in the longest format for much of 2019.

Nightwatchman Anrich Nortje appeared comfortable - bar one moment when he required a review to overturn a decision that saw him given out off Sam Curran when the ball clipped his shoulder before being snaffled by stand-in wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

He and Rassie van der Dussen put on 50 before the latter perished for a well-made 51, Archer finally pitching one up to produce a lbw call that was confirmed after a review.

Archer then snared Nortje two overs later before Stokes got in on the act to remove Dwain Pretorius.

Although the wickets were starting to tumble at one end, Quinton de Kock was looking menacing at the other with Archer coming in for some hammer from the South Africa wicketkeeper.

It therefore came as some relief to the tourists when Stokes induced a nibble from De Kock (34 from 37 balls) and Bairstow did the rest.

Vernon Philander continued to impress in the first Test of his final series with a belligerent 46 before he was the last man out as the South Africa innings was wrapped up for 272, Archer finishing with figures of 5-102.

South Africa opener Aiden Markram will miss the rest of the Test series against England due to a fractured finger.

Markram requires surgery on his fourth left finger after suffering the injury on day two of the first Test in Centurion.

In a statement on Saturday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said Markram would miss at least six weeks, with surgery scheduled for early next week.

"Aiden sustained a fracture affecting the distal joint of his left ring finger," CSA chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said.

"After consulting with a number of hand specialists yesterday we arrived at a decision that the best outcome would be achieved through surgical reduction and fixation. This would mean him unfortunately missing the rest of the series against England.

"We feel for Aiden who worked extremely hard to come through his previous hand fracture sustained in India to be Test match ready."

Markram made 20 in the first innings and fell for two in the second as South Africa were reduced to 72-4, leading England by 175 runs in the opening Test of four.

Joe Denly knows England must find a way to halt their batting collapses after South Africa built a 175-run lead on day two at Centurion.

Denly was England's top scorer with 50 on Friday as the tourists were all out for 181, losing their final seven wickets for just 39 runs.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer led the England fightback with the ball, restricting South Africa to 72-4 by stumps.

However, Denly acknowledged England's batsmen must now step up if Joe Root's side are to keep themselves in contention in the first Test of a four-match series.

"It's frustrating. It felt pretty comfortable out there. Myself and Ben [Stokes] were starting to get a really good partnership going. I managed to nick one and we lost a few wickets after that," Denly told Sky Sports.

"We spoke at tea about trying to bat long, keep them out there as long as we could. It wasn't to be in the end but a great fightback at the end.

"We have spoken about trying to get those first innings runs. It's trying to assess the conditions a bit better, understanding game situations, where we're at, who's bowling, trying to get through those tricky periods and wear them down that way.

"You have to be clear in your plan. What is the surface doing, how the bowlers are trying to get you out and working together as a partnership, get through those tough periods.

"We're in a stronger position than where we could have been. A big morning coming up and hopefully the batters can get some runs."

Denly was dropped while still on zero, though looked comfortable at the crease up until he reached his half century, succumbing to Dwaine Pretorius three balls later.

"It was tough, a very impressive opening spell [from South Africa], very high-class bowlers and they challenged us. It was tough," Denly said when asked about his performance.

"I was just being patient, I knew it was going to be tough and they were going to make me work hard for every single run, but it was just a case of being patient and sticking to my plan of trying to have a tight defence and seeing off [Vernon] Philander and [Kagiso] Rabada to start with.

"Once the new ball wore off, it was hot off there as well, so they couldn't charge in for too long, I managed to find a bit of fluency."

England suffered another batting collapse but the tourists battled back to limit South Africa to 72-4 at the start of their second innings in an action-packed second day at Centurion.

Having finished off South Africa's tail within three overs in the morning session, England took to the crease chasing 284, with the Proteas owing much to Quinton de Kock's knock of 95 on day one.

However, after Rory Burns and Dom Sibley fell early, Joe Denly (50) – who was dropped on zero – helped steady England's innings, but captain Joe Root (29) conceded his wicket with a slack flick outside off stump.

De Kock was the star in the field for South Africa, taking six catches as the issues that plagued England's Ashes series came back to haunt them again, though the tourists did make it to 142-4.

But a collapse of seven wickets for 39 runs handed South Africa a healthy 103-run lead.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer made quick inroads as South Africa lost four wickets inside 15 overs. Still, the Proteas should be confident of victory as they head into day three with a lead of 175 runs.

Sam Curran impressed for England on day one but his figures of 4-58 were matched when he dismissed Vernon Philander (35). 

But after frustrating England with the bat on Thursday, Philander made a swift impact with the ball, with a delivery outside off stump flicking Burns' glove on its way through to De Kock.

South Africa's wicketkeeper took his second catch in the next over, sending Sibley walking from Kagiso Rabada's shorter delivery.

Denly got lucky when Rassie van der Dussen put him down in the slips, as Philander finished an exceptional first spell with five successive maidens.

Root and Denly managed to form a solid partnership until lunch, after which England's captain played a sloppy shot that handed Philander his second wicket, and De Kock another catch.

With support from Stokes (35), Denly reached 50 with a superb boundary through the covers, but he succumbed to an inside edge three balls later, and England subsequently crumbled either side of tea.

Anderson claimed a wicket with the first delivery of the Test, and needed just five balls this time around to draw an edge from Aiden Markram.

Broad and Archer soon got in on the act – Jos Buttler taking fine catches to dismiss Zubayr Hamza and Dean Elgar.   Aggressive play from Faf du Plessis (20) got South Africa on the front foot, only for the Proteas captain to pick out Curran in the deep from Archer's bowling as England finished on a high.

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