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Alex Hales in doubt for third Test against South Africa

Alex Hales in doubt for third Test against South Africa
Alex Hales has scored 101 runs from the two Tests against South Africa.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England opening batsman Alex Hales is a doubtful starter for the third Test match against South Africa in Johannesburg after suffering a stomach bug on Wednesday.

The same illness struck Nick Compton a few days earlier but the 32-year-old has recovered well and is currently fit to play the third Test.

England's skipper Alastair Cook revealed that Hales will be monitored closely by the medical staff so that the bug does not spread to the rest of the squad.

"He has had a hit and will go straight back so he doesn’t infect the rest of us.

"So we’ll have to wait and see on him.

"But he has had a hit so he can’t be too bad.

"I can’t do anything about it as a captain.

"The medical team are on it.

"It seems to strike a bit randomly.

"Nick (Compton) had it the other day."

In the eventuality that Hales is not fit to play the third Test, England have the option of promoting Compton to open the innings and draft Gary Ballance into the side at number three.

With England needing just one win out of the two remaining games to claim a series victory, Alastair Cook wants his team to grab the opportunity to beat South Africa away from home.

"It would be a great achievement for this side to come here and beat South Africa away from home, and we’re in a position to do that.

"The opportunity is there and it’s just whether we’re good enough to take it.

"It’s an exciting time to play on what are probably two result wickets in these next two games.

"We need to win one to win the series.

"That is a great situation to be in."

The third Test in Johannesburg will be the 125th Test match for Cook which makes him the second England player to achieve that landmark after Alec Stewart who finished his career with 133 appearances. 

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