22 July 2020, by: Carl Lewis
England v West Indies Third Test Preview
England face the West Indies in the final Test of what has been entertaining. The Third test will be the decider of the first series post the interruption in international cricket due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The series is currently level at 1-1 after some exciting cricket in the UK.
West Indies won in the first Test thanks to great performances from Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, and Jermaine Blackwood. In the second Test, England levelled matters via a Ben Stokes fight back. So, now, it all comes down the third Test.
After getting beaten at the Rose Bowl, England got their act together in the second Test match and put on an all-round performance to outplay West Indies in all the departments of the game. As stated earlier, Ben Stokes was the game-changer. The all-rounder picked up with three wickets and hit over 250 runs to claim the man of the match prize.
The West Indies will be disappointed with their efforts considering that a draw the match was in reach but they ultimately failed against England’s bowling attack which was revamped from the first Test.
Considering it was another short turnaround time in between Test’s, it seems James Anderson and Jofra Archer will return for the series decider which could mean Sam Curran or Chris Woakes missing out. The left
armed Curran seems to be unlucky quite often when it comes to selection despite excelling in home conditions. Stuart Broad is almost certain to retain his place in the team after missing out on the first Test.
After two heavy loads for the Windies battery of fast bowlers, it’s hard to imagine the tourists not making changes to their line-up. Young paceman Alzarri Joseph might be replaced by Raymon Reifer who had some success in the warm-up matches, it helps that Reifer is a left-arm which would bring some variety to the attack.
John Campbell and Shai Hope are desperately out of touch in the top order but there are not ready-made international replacements and the hope is that Campbell and especially Hope stands up is counted in the third Test. Just two Windies players have made centuries from the last 18 overseas Test innings.
Pitch and Conditions
The Old Trafford pitch offered more than enough help for the fast bowlers and rewarded those who consistently hit good areas. Batting first seems like the best option considering five of the last seven Tests have seen a score of at least 400 in the first innings of the match (average 370.86).