West Indies regained the Wisden Trophy within 7 days, leaving England frustrated. Joe Root, however, will have to take the result on his chin and try to end the series on a high.
The third and final Test will be played at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia.
In 2018, Shannon Gabriel sniped up 13 wickets in a Test against Sri Lanka at the venue. The pitch then had pace, bounce, and swing, and is likely to be the same for the third Test.
Batting first would be beneficial, as the score drops down from 390 in the first innings to 288, 253, and 140 in the following innings.
West Indies thrive on pace-bowling
ICC banned captain Jason Holder for maintaining slow over-rate in the second Test. He is the highest run-scorer in the series and also took 7 wickets at 17.8. West Indies have added all-rounder Kemo Paul as his replacement.
Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell have not scored a fifty yet, but it is the starts they provided has been the difference between two teams. Campbell especially has been the aggressor. His six off James Anderson to seal the series will be etched in our memories for years to come.
In two of his three innings, Shai Hope scored 44 and 57. These scores may not look significant but were important in the context of the game.
Darren Bravo’s fifty in the second Test was the third slowest in the format. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for his team as he consumed most deliveries and let the ball lose its venom. Other batters capitalised and West Indies took a first-innings lead of 119 runs.
Roston Chase has been excellent with both bat and ball, scoring a fifty at a critical juncture and taking 8 wickets in the first match. He will continue to be West Indies’ key player.
While Shimron Hetmyer will not change his aggressive brand of cricket, Dowrich will look to continue his good form with both bat and gloves.
Kemar Roach is the highest wicket-taker in the series, with 13 victims at 12.07. He will share the new ball with Gabriel, while Joseph and Paul will play third and fourth seamers.
Probable XI for West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shane Dowrich (wk), Kemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel
England’s batting woes continues
England had been looking for an opening partner for Alastair Cook since Andrew Strauss’ retirement. With Cook gone, they have pushed themselves in further trouble. England dropped Keaton Jennings after the first Test and replaced him with Joe Denly who too failed to provide foundation. Barring his 84, Rory Burns could not find his feet.
England’s best batter Joe Root has scored a mere 40 runs in 4 innings, and this is where their problem lies. If England are to save themselves from whitewash, Root will have to come good.
Sam Curran is likely to get the axe, making way for Chris Woakes. In 46 overs, Curran has managed only a wicket.
There is also a debate of playing an extra pacer in place of Ben Foakes. This means, Bairstow will be asked to keep wickets. England have an ideal option in Mark Wood.
Ben Stokes and James Anderson have done bulk of the bowling, taking 15 wickets between them. Stuart Broad, on the other hand, was impressive with his three-wicket haul on his comeback in the second Test.
Probable XI for England: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (c), Jos Butter, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
What is your combination?
My XI: Shane Dowrich (wk), Joe Root, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Ben Stokes (vc), Roston Chase, Kemo Paul, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Kemar Roach (c), Shannon Gabriel