Alastair Cook: England have chance against South Africa in flux

• Rest will give Ian Bell new lease of life, says captain
• ‘We haven’t got a settled top seven, we are playing catch-up’

Alastair Cook touches down in South Africa on Friday with the sense his England side have a good chance to overturn the world’s No1 Test team in their own backyard despite leaving one of their most experienced batsman back at home.

Ian Bell missed out on England’s 16-man touring party following a slump in form during which he was out for one or nought a troubling nine times this year, making his continuation, in the eyes of the selectors, no longer sustainable even when factoring in his 118 Test caps of experience.

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