England v West Indies – 3rd Test

Test cricket

It’s game on at Old Trafford as the third, final and deciding Test of the series gets underway in Manchester.

England were irresistible last weekend as they swept through the visitors with the kind of swagger we enjoy seeing. Stuart Broad (recalled to the side after Jofra Archer’s exclusion) hit all the right areas alongside fellow quick Chris Woakes, while Ben Stokes, with bat and ball, turned in an incredible knock to be deservedly named man of the match. 

As off-colour as West Indies were in the second Test, nothing should be taken for granted. Yes, England are back in the saddle but the visitors and Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder, in particular, are well-capable of unseating them. 

The concern for the tourists, as they seek to retain the Wisden Trophy is the unpredictability of the batting line up. It has been very hit and miss, with a heavy emphasis on miss. 

The weather could be key to the series outcome; cloudy overcast conditions – not uncommon in the North West – give Broad, Anderson et al lots of opportunity to swing the ball in, but if the chaps at the Met Office are to be believed, rain is on the way this weekend and lots of it.   

England v West Indies – Friday on Sky Sports Cricket and Now TV. 
Highlights at 7.00pm on BBC2.