Starting July 24, England and West Indies will be locking horn for the 3rd and final Test of the Wisden Trophy. After West Indies’ remarkable win in the first Test, England made an impressive comeback in the second match of the series.
A lot is at stake in the 3rd Test to be hosted at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. For skipper Joe Root it will be a fight to get back among the runs, while likes of Jos Buttler and Ollie Pope will play to earn themselves a regular spot in the XI for the upcoming series against Pakistan.
For Indies captain Jason Holder, this game will be an opportunity to earn his No. 1 Test all-rounder position and lead his team to another famous win against England overseas.
Here are 5 things to watch out for in upcoming Wisden Trophy.
#5. Both teams can field two spinners?
While the pacers have been assisted by the conditions at both the Southampton and Machester, the spinners for both teams, Roston Chase and Dom Bess played very important roles.
Chase picked 5 wickets in the first Test and was outshining with his bowling for West Indies in the second Test while Bess has also scalped important wickets for his team at regular intervals. He also proved to be handy with his bat in the first match.
As the pitch at Manchester is deteriorated by consecutive Test matches and the intermittent rains, the surface might be slowed down. This is why we can see both the teams considering an extra spinner in the lineup.
#4. West Indies will have to make changes in the team
The second Test showed West Indies lacks in more than one department. The pacers for the team were ineffective for most of the game. Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, and Alzarri Joseph have been out of form which might require Raymon Reifer to be brought in the team because of the variety he would bring to the attack. Youngster Chemar Holder might also find himself test in the coming match.
Shai Hope, who was supposed to lead the batting attack for the team has failed to owe to his various footwork issues. West Indies coach Phil Simmons also hinted that there can be changes in the batting lineup.
#3. Will James Anderson return?
Leading wicket-taker for English Test team, James Anderson, was not part of the second Test after his largely average performance in the 1st Test. In recent times, the pacer has struggled with injuries but after a week of rest, he is expected to make a comeback for the series winner match.
But with Stuart Broad in great form right now and Chris Woakes also posing threat to the scattered West Indies side, it will be difficult to decide whether to include Anderson in the playing XI if he returns for the game.
#2. What will happen to Jofra Archer?
We already covered news of Jofra Archer’s dismissal from the teambecause of him flaunting the bio-secure protocol. For the 3rd Test, the 25-year-old is still unsure of playing, although both Ben Stokes and Joe Root have openly stated that the team need him.
#1. Will Ben Stokes come out a winner?
Ben Stokes taking the lead role in the 1st Test attracted fire from pundits who called it a foolish decision because he is in no way the best choice.
In the second Test, after a 356-ball vigil in the first innings and an attacking role in the second, Stokes’ bowling was anything but impressive or yielding. England coach Chris Silverwood claims that team can consider rotating the all-rounder, but dropping Stokes just before the final Test will strike the controversy.
Being the first international cricket tournament post-pandemic, this series holds important for both the teams as well as for cricket altogether.