Manchester: England cricket team is facing a selection dilemma ahead of the final Test and series decider against West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The hosts have too many choices in pace department with Anderson, Jofra Archer, and Mark Wood all looking to return to the team.
Archer has been recalled after breaching Covid-19 protocols before the second Test but has complained about mental fragility after suffering from online racist abuse.
Veteran pacer Anderson is also hoping to pair with his old-time partner Stuart Broad, who made a valuable contribution in the second Test win at Anderson’s home ground.
“I presume the best three players will play but it’s going to be a difficult decision for Joe Root and Chris Silver wood and there will be some disappointed guys,” Anderson said to reporters on Wednesday.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who will turn the ball away from the majority of West Indies’ right-handed batsmen, may be recalled in place of fellow Somerset spinner Dom Bess.
On the other hand, West Indies will once again hunt to clinch the final Test to claim the Wisden Trophy for the first time in England since 1988.
“We’re constantly reminding them that they have got a chance to change something that has not happened for 32 years,” said West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick,
West Indies could play the same pace attack of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, and captain Jason Holder for all three matches, however, both Gabriel and Joseph left the field with minor injuries during the second Test.
“Shannon was ready to go into the nets today (Wednesday) to have a bowl. The rain curtailed that but I think they’ll be fine. I saw Kemar last night and he was looking fresh,” Estwick added.
One major problem for West Indies would be number one Test all-rounder and number three batsman in the batting charts, who showed his masterclass in the last encounter by scoring 176 and 78 not out, as well as taking three wickets.
Tourists’ batsmen also have to rise on the occasion as they have yet to post an individual hundred, although several batsmen have stepped up with fighting fifties.