Brook handed debut for injured Bairstow

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Harry Brook will make his Test debut for England, replacing the injured Jonny Bairstow, in the decisive third match of the series against South Africa at The Oval.

Captain Ben Stokes confirmed on Wednesday that the right-hander comes into the team in place of his fellow Yorkshireman, who was ruled out for the third Test and the T20 World Cup by a freak injury suffered on the golf course.

Brook had an unsuccessful stint with Hobart Hurricanes during the English winter, scoring 44 runs in seven innings, but has prospered since in the West Indies and back on home soil.

"I'm really looking forward to going out and watching him play this week, but he's deserved his opportunity," Stokes told a news conference at The Oval.

"I think I mentioned a few weeks ago he will be someone who represents England in all three formats for a long time," he said of the 23-year-old, who made his international T20 debut on the tour of the West Indies in January.

"It's exciting to see him get his opportunity this week with the whites on," Stokes added.

Brook is averaging 107.44 with the bat for Yorkshire in the County Championship and scored 140 runs for England Lions against South Africa in their warm-up match at Canterbury.

"The way in which our middle order has been playing this summer, I feel as if Harry coming in, the way he goes about his game with the bat in his hand is pretty much a like-for-like replacement.

"He's always going to look to take the bowling on, take the positive option. It's obviously devastating to not have Jonny but I'm very excited we get a replacement with the skill Jonny possesses," said Stokes.

The Oval Test will decide the series which is tied at 1-1.

Meanwhile, South Africa might make several changes on Thursday for a match their captain, Dean Elgar, said would be a "World Cup final" for his country.

South Africa won the first Test by an innings and 12 runs but were then thrashed by an innings and 85 runs in the second.

"We are going into this Test is pretty much like a World Cup final for us. We're going to go in with a result in mind and we got to give our best effort for that," Elgar said.

He said the weather would dictate whether they played with an all-seam attack or with three quicks and two spinners, but predicted two or three changes to the line-up.

The visitors have already been forced to make at least one change after Rassie van der Dussen fractured a finger.

South Africa's poor performance in the second Test was unexpected considering the way they had dominated the hosts in the opening encounter at Lord's.

As South Africa's gamble to change of tactics at Old Trafford backfired spectacularly, a return to a four-man fast bowling attack looks likely.

"Manchester was one of those tough ones when we went with what we thought was best for the moment and for the side. Hopefully the right decision will be made (this time)," Elgar added.

The first two Tests were decided inside three days and Elgar predicted the last in the series would also be swiftly resolved, weather depending.

"There's definitely going to be a winner in this, there's no doubt about that because of the styles of cricket that both teams have been playing," he said.