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Influenza hits England hard in South Africa; Joe Root, Jos Buttler latest to fall ill

Influenza has affected England harshly since they landed in South Africa on December 14 with several players and staff falling ill.

SNS | New Delhi |

The illness epidemic that has hit the England cricket team since their arrival in South Africa has victimised two more players as captain Joe Root and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler were declared unwell.

While Buttler’s illness was announced before the play began on Saturday, Root left the field shortly after the start of third day’s play at the Supersport Park in Centurion with a fever and complaining about stomach problems.

Influenza has affected the visitors since they landed in South Africa on December 14 with several players and staff falling ill. Bowlers, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jack Leech missed the two warm-up games due to illness, with Leech still being treated in isolation at the team hotel.

Ollie Pope had also fallen ill and missed the chance to play the first Test, while Broad and Archer recovered in time for selection.

Pacers Chris Woakes and Mark Wood have also been kept away from the other team members, with the former falling ill on the eve of the match and Wood’s sickness being reported on Thursday.

Despite their decent bowling effort on the field, English bowlers could not stop South Africa from extending their lead to 300 in the first Test match of the three-match series at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. South Africa were 197 for 7 at the time when umpires called for Lunch on Saturday.

Earlier, riding on De Kock’s valiant knock of 95 runs in the first innings, South Africa had scored 284 runs after getting an invitation to bat. In its response, England were bundled out for a meager 181.