Tom Westley to make international debut at The Oval as England unveil squad for third Test

Tom Westley and Dawid Malan have been named in England's squad for the third Test against South Africa

Tom Westley to make international debut at The Oval as England unveil squad for third Test
Tom Westley will make his England debut next week (image source: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Essex's Tom Westley will bat at number three for England in the third Test against South Africa, after being named as the injury replacement for Gary Ballance who misses out after breaking a finger at Trent Bridge

Ballance is the only player to drop out of the squad, with the Middlesex duo of Dawid Malan and Toby Roland-Jones also possible debutants after being named in a 13-man squad.

Surrey opener Mark Stoneman has been overlooked once again despite some big scores, some of which have come at the venue for the third Test, The Oval

Westley to bat at three with Ballance missing out

After an appalling batting effort in Nottingham during the second Test, change was always likely in the makeup of England's side who are now locked at 1-1 in the four-match series. 

Ballance's finger injury has paved the way for Westley, who has made three centuries in his last six First-Class innings, one of which came against a South African attack which included Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Morne Morkel and Keshav Maharaj while playing for the England Lions earlier this summer. 

Westley made a century against the South Africans in the build-up to the Test series (image source: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old is the latest off the Essex production line and will help to break up a predominantly left-handed top-order which may have helped his cause during selection meetings.

Now, with Ballance's availability for the fourth Test still up in the air, Westley has a huge opportunity to nail down a spot in the batting order ahead of the Ashes Tour this winter. 

Malan to duel it out with Dawson for final spot in the lineup

With Mark Wood expected to be passed fit, Roland-Jones is expected to miss out once more, yet there could be a further alteration to the lineup depending on how England read conditions.

If they feel the need to play two spinners, then Liam Dawson will retain his spot alongside Moeen Ali, but if their batting woes from Trent Bridge have left a mark, then they are likely to hand a debut to Malan to bat in the middle-order. 

Malan made his international debut earlier this summer (image source: Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The left-hander showed his international pedigree last month with a match-winning 78 on debut against the same opponents in the winner-takes-all third match during their T20 series

Malan has skippered the England Lions over the past year, and having also bowled more than expected this summer for Middlesex, he may yet turn out to be an option with the ball if selected to play next Thursday. 

Squad in full: Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain), Alastair Cook (Essex), Keaton Jennings (Durham), Tom Westley (Essex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Mark Wood (Durham), James Anderson (Lancashire), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex).

Cricket