BEN STOKES flew with the England team yesterday but will remain a spectator for the next two matches.
There are no plans to summon Stokes into the one-day team even though he is travelling, training and practising with his England mates.
Also on the flight from Cape Town to Durban were experienced 50-over duo Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali but both are unlikely to be chosen for the second ODI tomorrow.
England could certainly do with the likes of Stokes, Rashid and Moeen judging by their seven-wicket hammering in the opening match of the series on Tuesday when their bowling was woeful.
However, captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Chris Silverwood are determined to stick with their idea of fielding an experimental side and giving chances to fringe players.
Morgan and Silverwood want to expand their 50-over options as they begin a new cycle, with the ultimate target of retaining the World Cup in India in 2023.
They aim to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Right now, T20 is the white-ball priority because there are two World Cups in the shortest format in the next two years.
It meant that England’s attack on Tuesday contained only Chris Woakes of the bowlers who appeared in the World Cup final triumph over New Zealand last July.
Lancashire leggie Matt Parkinson made his debut, Chris Jordan played his first one-dayer since September 2016 and Sam Curran his first since October 2018 and only his third in all. On the batting side, Tom Banton was handed a 50-over debut and Joe Denly scored his first half-century in the format since September 2009.
So do not be surprised if England continue to struggle in this three-match series, especially as the pitches are likely to remain slow and stodgy.
Jordan, who took 1-31 off five overs, said: “It was a nice surprise to be recalled for this squad.
“I’ve been working hard, playing in various tournaments around the world and putting in some decent performances on the T20 front for England.
“So it’s good to be back in the ODI side after 3½ years. But it’s one thing being here, another to perform.
“We didn’t play anywhere near our best cricket on Tuesday.
“Normally, when we’re at our best, we’re on the front foot with bat, ball and in the field — but we were slightly off the mark.
“I’m very confident we can still win the series.
“We’ve played on many different surfaces and managed to overcome them. So I don’t think the conditions matter. If the pitches are slow we back ourselves to be smart with a high skill level and navigate those situations.”
Stokes decided to stay in South Africa after seeing his father Ged on to his flight home to New Zealand last week following his illness before Christmas. The superstar all-rounder will officially rejoin the squad for the three T20 matches that conclude this tour.
Jos Buttler and Mark Wood flew home for a short break and will return for the T20s.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer is unavailable for the T20s because of the elbow injury that kept him out the final three Test matches.
ON GARDLingard, Shaw and Dalot head for warm-weather training early during winter break
REECE'S IN PIECESReece Oxford lined up for Germany's FOURTH tier after poor Ausburg spell
FOOTBRAWLThe bloodthirsty new generation of hooligans dragging football back to the '70s
HOWAY THE NADSObscene moment Newcastle fan celebrates by flashing his willy LIVE on BBC1
SPURS 3 SAINTS 2 - LIVESon keeps his cool from spot after being brought down by Gunn
MAGA-LOOTArsenal eye £30m summer bid for Lille defender Magalhaes - after January inquiry
He will have another scan in the next 24 hours to discover the extent of the problem.
One in South Africa showed only bruising, but this new scan is said to be more sophisticated.
Archer is trying to get fit for the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka next month — though England might decide not to pick him.