Cardiff: England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan insisted he had done the right thing for the team's "development" by dropping himself for the third Twenty20 international against South Africa at Cardiff on Sunday.
Prior to the match, an England spokesman said Morgan wanted to give another opportunity to middle-order batsman Liam Livingstone who made 16 on debut in England's three-run defeat at Taunton on Friday, a result that saw South Africa level the series at 1-1.
But Morgan's absence also paved the way for Dawid Malan to make a debut at number three and his fellow Middlesex left-hander responded with an impressive 78 after South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and fielded.
"We recognise the series as a big opportunity to have a look at a younger group of players," Morgan, who at 30 is only a year older than Malan, told Sky Sports.
"It’s an important part of our development, and our success in 50-over cricket and T20 has been down to the strength in depth we’ve had in the side.
"If it was a case where I could go on and captain, I would. But this is an important part of our development for this series."
Former Ireland international Morgan added: "It’s a very difficult situation to be in. I love playing international cricket, but unfortunately that is the case today.
"We remain very confident we can win the game with the team we have and put on a real entertaining show.
"It’s tough, but it’s a call you have to make looking to the long-term. It’s down to the quality of players that we have.
"It is a big call. But we haven’t been shy of making big calls in the past."