West Indies vs England, 3rd Test: Preview, likely XIs

West Indies players take part in a training session one day ahead of the 3rd Test against England

WI vs Eng, 3rd Test: All you need to know about West Indies vs England final Test at Gros islet

Kemar Roach (5/17) had bowled out England for 77 in the first innings in the first Test, at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. Then Jason Holder (202*) and Shane Dowrich (116*) added an unbroken 395 for the seventh wicket. Set 628, England then collapsed against Roston Chase (8/60). West Indies won by a humongous 381-run margin.


The series was claimed at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound. With 4/30 and 4/52, Roach led the rout again, while the top four batsmen all went past forty in a low-scoring Test. John Campbell, who had received his Test cap at Barbados, dismissed James Anderson for six over deep mid-wicket to bring up the winning runs. The dismissiveness of the shot represented West Indies’ dominance in the series.


The series was claimed at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound. With 4/30 and 4/52, Roach led the rout again, while the top four batsmen all went past forty in a low-scoring Test. John Campbell, who had received his Test cap at Barbados, dismissed James Anderson for six over deep mid-wicket to bring up the winning runs. The dismissiveness of the shot represented West Indies’ dominance in the series.


Shortly after the Test, ICC banned Holder for a Test for slow over rates – a decision that caused some stir among fans. Holder will miss the third Test, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet. This is a massive blow, not only because West Indies will miss his inspiring leadership but also because they will have to find an all-rounder who can fill those boots.


Kraigg Brathwaite will lead West Indies in the third Test. Brathwaite and Campbell have put up three fifty-run opening partnerships in this series so far and have stayed unbroken in the past. Their superior performance compared to that put up by their English counterparts has been one of the deciding factors of the series.


Shai HopeDarren BravoShimron Hetmyer, and Chase have all scored at least one fifty in the series, while Dowrich has got a hundred. All of them have played crucial roles in blunting the otherwise strong English attack. 


The dangerous trio of Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Alzarri Joseph will feature in the XI. Keemo Paul, drafted in for Holder, is likely to complete the attack. He demolished Windward Islands last month with 10 wickets in the match and subsequently took 7 wickets and scored 66 against Guyana.


West Indies likely XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shane Dowrich (wk), Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel.


England’s woes have been aggravated by injuries to Ben StokesBen Foakes, and Chris Woakes, three men with rhyming surnames. Stokes is nursing a bruised heel, while Woakes has had problems with his knee.


Foakes was hit on the hand by Gabriel in the first innings at North Sound and could not keep wickets (Jonny Bairstow had taken over). However, he batted, and is good enough to play as a specialist batsman.


If none of them recovers, England will be left with a squad of 12 fit players. Of them, Sam Curran is certain to sit out following his lacklustre performance. With no Woakes, Mark Wood will replace Curran.


The absence of both Stokes and Woakes may come as a blessing in disguise. For far too long England have played too many all-rounders, and the twin injuries may allow Jennings to return. Given the current squad, Jennings may bat at three, after Joe Denly and Rory Burns,to bolster a batting line-up that has collapsed every time they have batted in this series. 


Specialist openers occupying the top three spots will enable Joe Root to play freely. This will also put Bairstow back in his comfort zone at five, just above Jos Buttler. The bowling will be handled by Wood, Stuart Broad, James AndersonMoeen Ali, and Jack Leach.


England likely XI: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, James Anderson.