Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has claimed that South Africa will be pleased if Jos Buttler does not play against them in the first Test in Durban next month.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped for the third Test against Pakistan three weeks ago after averaging just eight runs from four innings in the United Arab Emirates, but he responded by hitting England's fastest one-day century in 46 balls - and finishing on 116 not out - in the final match of the one-day series against the Men in Green, which England won 3-1.
Pietersen has suggested that England would miss Buttler's impact in the lower half of the order should he miss out against the Proteas.
"He should definitely be there playing but I don't see how they can play him in the first Test match, having dropped him from the last one," the 35-year-old told The Independent.
"And I know South Africa are really, really happy about that. I've been there, I was there for the two weeks when they dropped Buttler. And everyone in South Africa was like, 'You beauty, we don't have to bowl to a bloke who can win a Test match in a single session.'
"England can say they dropped him because he needed time away but he didn't have any time away, he got straight into an England shirt and scored massive runs 10 days later. I didn't like seeing him dropped, he shouldn't have been treated like that but Jos is a wonderful player and they have to do the business now."
The four-match Test series with South Africa begins on Boxing Day.