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ENG v WI: Ben Stokes might not bowl in third Test, hints Joe Root

By Saurabh Sharma
Jul 23, 2020 • 22:00 PM

Manchester, July 23:  England skipper Joe Root has indicated star all-rounder Ben Stokes might not bowl in the third and final #raisethebat Test against West Indies after picking up a niggle in the second match.

Stokes played a pivotal role with bat and ball as England levelled the three-match series 1-1.

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"He's definitely okay to play as a batsman -- it's just how much of an impact he can have with the ball," Root was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on the eve of the decider.

"If he's not fit to bowl that will change how we go with things slightly. Ben pretty much spent the whole time (in the second Test) out on the field, so it was a long old game for him but it does take a lot to keep him down, and to take him out of the action. We'll see how he is in the morning," said Root.

Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood on Thursday made a return to the 14-man England squad for the series-deciding Test. While Archer was excluded after a breach of bio-secure protocol, Anderson and Wood were rested.

"If you look at the squad of players we've got, we've got plenty of brilliant options to choose from. I feel like whatever combination we go with it is definitely capable of taking 20 wickets," said Root.

"I think Jofra will be ready for it -- he's had two very good days in training. He's got his smile back and he's bowled at the speed of light the last two days in some spicy nets, so it wasn't much fun for our batters."

On Archer, Root said: "It was disgusting to see some of the stuff that he's had to put up with in the last week -- it really is -- and as a squad we've tried to get round him and make sure he knows that we're all there for him.

"No-one should have to deal with that, whether you're a professional sportsman, at school, a kid growing up or whatever line of work you're in. No-one should have to go through anything like that."

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