Jofra Archer has been included in England’s 14-man squad for the third and deciding Test against West Indies, which starts at Old Trafford on Friday.
The 25-year-old fast bowler had been expected to feature in the second Test but was dropped after he breached the bio-secure bubble in place to shield players from COVID-19 by visiting his home after the first match in Southampton had ended.
His participation in the third Test had also been in doubt as he admitted that he was struggling mentally after being racially abused on social media for having to spend five days in isolation as a result of stepping out of the bio-secure environment.
But England selected him on Thursday, signaling the possibility of continuing with the rotation of the bowlers.
Senior paceman James Anderson and fast bowler Mark Wood also returned to the squad for the final Test after being rested for the second Test.
Archer, Anderson, and Wood will compete with the pace trio of Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, and Sam Curran for places in England’s playing XI.
It will be interesting to see England’s pace attack for the third Test as the trio of Broad, Curran, and Woakes has performed well in the second Test.
England, though, has retained the same batting line-up with out-of-form wicket-keeper batsman Joss Buttler getting yet another opportunity to return among runs.
The teams are level at 1-1 after the first two games. West Indies had won the first Test by four wickets at Southampton before England leveled the series with a 113-run victory in the second game here.
The ongoing series between England and West Indies played in a bio-secure environment, marked the resumption of international cricket amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While West Indies have the opportunity to register a first Test series win in England since 1988, the hosts are keen to reclaim the Wisden Trophy and maintain their six-year unbeaten record at home.
Probable Squad for 3rd Test:
England Probable XI:
Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, James Anderson, Stuart Broad
West Indies Probable XI:
John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel