England and West Indies buckle up for series decider

(Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP)

Following couple of action-packed Test matches back to back, hosts England are all set to take on the Jason Holder-led West Indies side in the series-deciding third game at the Old Trafford in Manchester from Thursday (July 24). Having squared the series in the last Test at the same venue England have the momentum with them but the visitors have enough firepower in their ranks to make Joe Root and Co. sweat, like they did in the first Test in Southampton.

England named its squad on Thursday and picked all six of its seamers, including Jofra Archer, who was dropped before the second Test for breaking health protocols through an unsanctioned trip to his home.

Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood played in the first Test, which West Indies won by four wickets. However in the next game Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran featured in the XI and played key roles in their team’s 1130-run triumph.

So, it will be interesting to see what pace bowling combination the hosts finally decide upon in this crucial fixture.

Meanwhile. the Windies went ahead with an unchanged squad in last Test. But during the game pace duo Shannon Gabriel  and Alzarri Joseph left the field for running repairs. Nevertheless, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick has confirmed that they have no major injury concerns, but selection will depend on the workload management of the concerned players.

The visitors, however, might look to include off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall in the XI following the kind of assistance Roston Chase got from the surface in the second Test.

Probable XIs

England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Root (C), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran/Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Dom Bess

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich (WK), Jason Holder (C), Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph

Match starts: 11 AM local time (3.30 IST)

About Sandipan Banerjee

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at CricketNews.com in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!

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