Parkinson may finally get England chance

England spinner Jack Leach

England and West Indies head into the third and final Test with all to play for following draws in the opening two matches of the series, with the action in the decider set to get underway on Thursday (England 11/10, Draw 6/4, West Indies 4/1 – Match Betting).

There has certainly been some encouragement for the tourists following a disastrous Ashes tour as they have been the side pressing for victory on the final day in each of the first two Tests, but their bowling attack has ultimately been kept at bay by the resolute hosts, on surfaces that have offered very little assistance.

The pitch may again be a decisive factor in the finale, while things may be different should it be third-time-lucky for the West Indies at the toss, but England are sure to make changes to their bowling line-up, having struggled to press home any advantage they may have had in the first two encounters.

Ollie Robinson missed the first Test due to a back spasm while he was not risked in the second, despite having returned to full training, while Craig Overton was ruled out of the second Test due to illness but has now fully recovered.

Robinson (11/4 England Top Wicket Taker (1st Inns)) seems a certainty to return to the side, with Chris Woakes the most likely to make way having failed to make any kind of impression with figures of 2-172 from 66 overs across the first two Tests.

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Overton took 2-85 in the Windies’ first innings of the first Test and may also be recalled but, given the pitches England have faced so far, England may opt to finally give leg-spinner Matt Parkinson (7/2 England Top Wicket Taker (1st Inns)) his debut.

The 25-year-old has been a regular in the squad for the last couple of years only to be overlooked, but now might be the time to give him a chance given the fact that England’s only frontline spinner Jack Leach (11/4 England Top Wicket Taker (1st Inns)) has already bowled nearly 170 overs in the series.

“We’ll have to gauge it over the next couple of days”, interim head coach Paul Collingwood said. “Ollie Robinson has not played in the first two Tests but looks as though he is ready and available and Overton has overcome illness. We will look at the wicket in Grenada and see what make-up of the team is suited to take 20 wickets.”

Speaking specifically about Parkinson, Collingwood added: “[Parkinson] is as ready as he can be.”

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Author: Lucas Carlson