England's Woes Carry On
By Michael Norwood
February 8 2019
England's tour of the West Indies is going from bad to worse, as all rounder Ben Stokes misses training ahead of the dead third test rubber in St Lucia, which starts on Saturday (2pm GMT).
In what will be more muddled thinking for the batting line up, Stokes could potentially play as a batting specialist, however if he doesn't feature, it could mean captain Joe Root makes his way up to the number three batting slot, to make way for another bowler.
With the hand injury to Ben Foakes still not healing properly, it is expected that Johnny Bairstow will be given the gloves for the whole test, after keeping wicket in the West Indies dominant display in Antigua.
Ex Engand Captain Nasser Hussain says England shouldn't risk anyone with the schedule they have this year "I wouldn't risk any England cricketer this year. Some bowlers will bowl with niggles; any bowler will tell you that throughout their career they bowled most of the time with a bit of pain. That's fine. "But I wouldn't risk anyone with a new injury or an on-going concern - like Foakes, Woakes and Stokes - in this year with an Ashes and a World Cup." he told SKY Sports News.
It would mean Bairstow dropping down the order, probably to number five, which opens up the number three slot.
Such is England's dismay at the moment, it could even mean a repreive for Keaton Jennings, dropped after the first test, and looking likely to be sent back to County Cricket for the summer, instead of featuing in the Ashes bonanza at Internatinal level.
Should Stokes feature, but not Foakes, then get ready for Joe Denly perhaps stepping down to his favoured number three spot, you know the one where he features for his County, but was asked to open in the second test humiliation.
Confused yet? We are, god knows what the selectors will make it of this, once this tour is over.
One person set to miss out, will be Chris Woakes, or is that Foakes, we are losing it trying to make sense of it all. Anyway, Woakes still has his long standing knee problem, so Broad and Anderson will lead the attack once more, with Mark Wood likely to step into Sam Curran's shoes to at least add some bite to an attack which has been outshone by the hosts.
The West Indies pack attack has taken England by surprise, not that it should given it's rich history of course, but they have truly blown England away in this short test series.
Our answer, of Woakes, Stokes, Foakes, shake it all about cricketers, have simply had no answer.
All of the hope given by the excellent Sri Lanka tour win, has evaoporated somewhat since the turn of the new year, so altough this weekend is a dead rubber, we all have our fingers crossed for an England performance that will bring us some joy ahead of a very busy cricketing year.
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