Cricket

England vs West Indies: Jofra Archer returns to squad for final Test at Old Trafford

Archer had been expected to feature in the second Test but was dropped after he breached the bio-secure bubble by visiting his home after the first match in Southampton had ended.

England vs West Indies: Jofra Archer returns to squad for final Test at Old Trafford

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.

File image of Jofra Archer. AP

File image of Jofra Archer. AP

His participation in the third Test had also been in doubt as he admitted that 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, signalling 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 locked at 1-1 after the first two games. West Indies had won the first Test by four wickets at Southampton before England levelled 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.

Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

With inputs from Reuters and PTI

Updated Date: July 23, 2020 19:53:14 IST

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