West Indies vs England, Third Test – Can the Tourists Avoid a Series Whitewash?

England arrived in the West Indies as the favourites to take the Test match series but, so far, their results have been dismal. So, what’s happened to date and do they have any chance of salvaging anything from the trip?

England’s Expectations, Warm-Up Matches and The First Two Tests

Before Joe Root’s men headed to Barbados, many fans would have said that 2019 could turn out to be England’s year: some experts had even claimed that the team had the talent to win both the prestigious Ashes trophy and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. While the two warm-up matches against the CW President’s II ended in draws, England should still have been in with an excellent chance of winning the Test series. After all, the visitors had won all but one of the last nine Tests that they’d played against the Windies, and were five places higher than their opponents in the ICC’s world rankings.

Unfortunately, however, in the first Test match of the series, which took place at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, England were humiliated. The tourists suffered a batting collapse in the second innings and lost the match by 381 runs. The Windies then piled more misery on in Antigua. England collapsed once more and the home team won by ten wickets, becoming series victors too.

The Third Test – Can England Save Face?

Joe Root told the BBC that the loss of the first two matches had been “hard to take” and stated that they “must” win the next match, which commences in St. Lucia on Saturday. However, after two defeats, they’ll have to utilise every bit of mental strength they have if they want to turn things around.

One thing that could be in their favour is that Jason Holder, the Windies’ captain and top run scorer won’t be in action in the match. The International Cricket Council have issued him with a one-match suspension for the Windies’ slow over-rate in their previous outing. It’s a huge blow for the home team – so could it be a good omen for England? The captain was named man of the match after taking two wickets and making an impressive 202 unbeaten in the opening match of the series, so the news could ensure Joe Root and his men start things off more positively.

UK-based fans who want to watch the action as it happens can do so if they have access to the Sky Sports Cricket channel, while talkSPORT2 will be providing live radio coverage. Whatever the result, England’s performance is sure to be under scrutiny by both the media and fans, particularly with the battle for the Ashes trophy on the horizon.

Do you believe England can battle back to win the final Test match? Add a comment below, or share your thoughts about their performance with us on Facebook or Twitter.