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It hasn’t been a particularly memorable West Indies tour for England, although, from the opening two matches of the three-test series, they have been the side more likely to win on both occasions.
That said, they haven’t come particularly close to winning either of the drawn test matches, when they put their hosts in on the final day in the hope of bowling the Windies out as they looked to bat out the tricky closing stages. The West Indies were five down when “chasing” 281 from 65 overs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, but England failed to build on that momentum and take the all-important wicket of captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
Neither side have been able to prove that they’re able to take 20 wickets over the course of five days, so we’re having a tough time picking a winner for the third test in Grenada.
Read on for our preview and expert cricket betting tips for final match of the series.
Neither side have been helped in the opening two tests by pitches that have offered little to the bowling sides.
But it’s perhaps fair to suggest that an understrength English bowling unit are missing seasoned veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were both rested for the tour.
The Three Lions have also lost paceman Mark Wood to injury, and his absence leaves a further void in a side that is lacking an experienced strike bowler who can rip through this stubborn West Indies top order.
And the hosts have had bowling issues of their own. They were given a clobbering by Ben Stokes in the first innings of the second test and haven’t really got on top of this England side since the opening session of the first test. Since then, it’s been largely comfortable for the visitors.
We probably give England the edge, but we worry they may lack the bowling nous to get the job done here, so our selection is the draw, which is available at 7/4 (bet365) as well with other betting sites
This series was earmarked by the English Cricket Board (ECB) as a chance to blood some fresh faces and give experienced campaigners a breather.
And while they’ve not been in any real danger of losing either test match, there also hasn’t really been much to get particularly excited about.
But the form of their two key batters should stand them in good stead for a busy 2022. Joe Root continued his fine form with yet another century in the second test, while a swashbuckling 120 from Stokes suggests he’s on the way back to being the gamechanger England need him to be.
Not only are England missing Anderson, Broad and Wood, but Jofra Archer remains out with an elbow injury, so we can’t be too tough on an England side that are playing with greatly limited resources in the bowling department.
There’s plenty to like about this West Indies side, who boast a solid bowling arsenal alongside batters that are offering much more than the previous generation.
The hosts have had their moments in this series, most notably when they reduced their visitors to 48-4 in the first innings of the opening test and took the prize wicket of Joe Root for just 13.
But they haven’t been dangerous enough for long periods and have been unable to wrestle the grip of the matches away from England, who haven’t had much trouble in batting games away from the Windies and leaving them with rescue missions on the final day.
In fairness, the pitches in both tests have hardly aided their quest, so the likes of Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph will be hoping that there’s something it for the bowlers when they head for Grenada this weekend.
This match is steeped in history, especially in the long format, with the West Indies and England meeting 162 times in test matches.
And the Windies have the slight advantage with 58 wins to England’s 51, while the remaining 53 have ended in draws.
The National Cricket Stadium is a 20,000-capacity stadium in Grenada and has been hosting test matches since 2002, when New Zealand were the first visitors.
England last visited here April 2015 and were victorious by nine wickets, with Joe Root hitting an unbeaten 182 in the first innings.
The destiny of this third and final test match is likely to come down to the condition and behaviour of the pitch in Grenada.
If we’re “treated” to a similarly slow, dry wicket as we have been in the opening two matches then this test is in danger of becoming a non-event, but fingers-crossed that isn’t the case and we get five days of thrills and spills.