Keaton Jennings set for surprise recall as England drop Ben Foakes from squad for third West Indies Test
- Keaton Jennings was dropped from team for second West Indies Test match
- But opener is in line for an unexpected recall after Ben Foakes was omitted
- Jennings averages just 16 against pace in Tests and could open with Rory Burns
Keaton Jennings looks set for an improbable comeback to international cricket after England opted to omit Ben Foakes for the third Test in St Lucia.
England confirmed that Surrey’s Foakes was available following a bruised hand suffered in Antigua last week but they opted to drop their five-cap wicketkeeper in a bid to better balance their final XI.
Ben Stokes has been selected in the 12-man squad for the match at the Darren Sammy Stadium but it appears he will only play if able to do so in the capacity of all-rounder after pulling up with a sore heel this week.
Keaton Jennings is in line to reclaim his place at the top of the England order
Ben Stokes will only play in the capacity of an all-rounder in the dead rubber game
TEAMS FOR THIRD TEST:
England: R Burns, K Jennings, J Denly, J Root (c), J Bairstow (wkt), B Stokes, J Buttler, M Ali, S Curran, S Broad, J Anderson, M Wood.
West Indies: K Brathwaite (c), J Campbell, S Hope, D Bravo, S Hetmyer, R Chase, S Dowrich (wkt), K Roach, A Joseph, S Gabriel, O Thomas/K Paul.
Umpires: K Dharmasena, R Tucker
Third umpire: C Gaffaney
That means Jennings – who averages just 16 against pace bowling in Test cricket – will slot back in alongside Rory Burns at the top of the order, with Joe Denly moving to No 3 and Jonny Bairstow dropping into the middle order after reclaiming the gloves.
Lancashire left-hander Jennings began the winter with a second Test hundred versus Sri Lanka in Galle but was axed after his struggles against the seamers in the crushing defeat in Barbados a fortnight ago.
With Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes out of contention due to a lingering knee problem, Durham fast bowler Mark Wood is in line to win his 13th cap and first in nine months.
Mark Wood is likely to win his 13th cap for England, replacing the injured Chris Woakes
Joe Denly will shuffle down the order to No 3 with Keaton Jennings back in the fold
Sam Curran will be left to carry the drinks if Stokes can persuade captain Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss that playing will not be detrimental to England’s long-term prospects in a year that includes a home Ashes and World Cup.
England are looking to salvage some pride in the final match of the Wisden Trophy.
They are also bidding to avoid becoming the first team to lose a series to West Indies by a three-Test margin since 1989.
Jennings only averages 16 against pace bowling in Test matches and has struggled mightily