All-rounder Ben Stokes is an injury doubt for the third Test against Windies after missing England training due to bruising on his right heel.
Stokes was present at training in St Lucia on Thursday, England’s first full session since their three-day defeat in Antigua, but did not take part.
Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who was hit on the hand by a Shannon Gabriel delivery last week and was unable to keep wicket in the second innings, was involved but has yet to be given the all-clear.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Woakes is highly unlikely to play as he manages a longstanding knee complaint.
England go into the final Test of the series, which begins on Saturday on Sky Sports Cricket at 1.30pm, aiming to avoid a 3-0 whitewash.
But after two successive defeats, Sky Sports Cricket pundit Nasser Hussain said he would not take a risk with Stokes if he isn’t 100 per cent fit by Saturday.
I wouldn’t risk any England cricketer this year, said the former England captain. 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.
I know every Test is important but England are 2-0 down and I would say ‘take this week off and get fit.
If all three players are ruled out of the game – and with Adil Rashid having flown home to be with his pregnant wife – England would have just 12 fit players to choose from.
We were all saying at the start of the tour, and we’re not being wise after the event, that when we looked at the squad it looked a little unbalanced with a lot of spare bowlers and not many spare batsman, reflected Hussain.
In the Caribbean you need that spare batsman because you do get physical injuries, like the one Foakes has got, and if you get out of form it’s very difficult to get back in form here.
Keaton Jennings was out of the side, but if they needed the next batsman to come in there’s no-one else there so Keaton would have to come straight back in – as opposed to having a spare batsman like Jason Roy or James Vince, who could slot in. So England have got a few issues with their batting line-up in particular. We are one batsman short.
The top-three have been found wanting and then, suddenly, it hit me – we do have a number three in Joe Root. He is England’s best batsman so I don’t care if he doesn’t want to bat there.
Joe – just go up from four to three, move Jonny Bairstow into the middle order where he likes batting.
There is an opportunity for Joe, who has had a quiet series, both as a captain and as a batsman to say that this is my turn; it might be a dead game but I can put something in this series by moving up to three and getting a hundred.
Watch the third Test between Windies and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30pm on Saturday.
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