Joe Root was unable to practice because of illness as England ramped up their preparations for the third Test against South Africa on Sunday.

The England captain was absent from the team’s session in Port Elizabeth because of a stomach upset, the second time he has suffered with illness on a tour which has been dominated by absences.

Wood puts ‘name in the hat’ for third TestDenly: Big score just a matter of time

Illness has plagued England since before the Test series even begun with Root one of the casualties, although players were then affected by flu-like symptoms rather than stomach issues.

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More than a dozen players and support staff were affected with Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach all ruled out of the first Test because of it.

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Root spent time off the field at Centurion where England were soundly beaten.

The issue had eased by the time the second Test began in Cape Town, although neither Woakes or Leach was selected.

But it was injury which affected England before and during that match, which Root’s men won to level the series, with Rory Burns suffering ankle ligament damage ahead of game while playing football and James Anderson breaking a rib on day five at Newlands.

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Highlights as Ben Stokes was once again the hero as England sealed a famous victory over South Africa at Newlands

Highlights as Ben Stokes was once again the hero as England sealed a famous victory over South Africa at Newlands

Both players will miss the remainder of the series in South Africa and Burns will also miss the tour of Sri Lanka in March after having surgery on his ankle.

On who replaces Anderson in Port Elizabeth in the third Test from Thursday, Sky Sports‘ Michael Atherton said: “They have a choice of three – [Jofra] Archer, Woakes and [Mark] Wood.