BRIDGETOWN—West Indies must win to draw the series against England when the third and final match in the three test series begins at Kensington oval today. The homeside looks set to make some changes to the team which squandered a position of strength, seems to be forcing a draw but imploded and allowed the visitors to cruise to a comfortable nine wicket win in at the National Stadium in Grenada’s following the drawn game in Antigua.
Key strike bowler Jerome Taylor, who missed the second test through injury, is expected to return to bolster the Windies attack on a Bridgetown pitch which is anticipated to provide pace and bounce. He is likely to replace pacer Kemar Roach who has had a poor series managing five wickets for 53 so far.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul has been added to the Test squad and will replace leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo who suffered a cut to his ring finger in the right hand and is being treated by the medical staff. “Bishoo did well for us in the second Test in Grenada but he has a finger injury so we decided to call-up Permaul,” said head Coach Phil Simmons.
“He (Permaul) was among the best bowlers in the four-day cricket earlier this season, and he also bowled well in the camp ahead of this series – so he’s in good shape.” Permaul, 25, made his debut in 2012 and has played four Test matches so far with 12 wickets at an average of 37 runs per wicket. He was the leading wicket-taker in the WICB’s Professional Cricket League Four-Day Tournament this year with 67 wickets at 14 runs each.
A late decision is expected to be made on seamer Jason Holder’s fitness after he injured his left ankle during his delivery stride while bowling his second over in the second innings of the second Test in Grenada. Veteran middle order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul could be under pressure to perform having only passed fifty once in his last nine Test innings. Chanderpaul is yet to record a big score as he edges towards Brian Lara’s West Indies Test runs record.
“We need to come hard at the English,” declared Captain Denesh Ramdin. “We are one down, so we need to play a little more aggressive and positive cricket.” There are reports that England may be considering some changes to the team which secured the one-nil series lead in Grenada last week. Chris Jordan is said to be under pressure to prove his worth in England’s attack after taking five wickets at 45.60 in the series.
Ben Stokes, who is seen as an attractive option with his all-round ability, is suffering with a sore back and could miss out. “The normal inclination is to go with the same team because you like to give people the confidence that they are not always playing for their place,” said Alastair Cook, the England captain. “You get stability when you’re winning and everyone knows their role in the team.