GROS-ISLET: West Indies stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite won the toss and put England in to bat on the first morning of the third and final Test in St Lucia on Saturday.
With regular skipper Jason Holder suspended from the match as a cumulative penalty for his team’s ongoing slow over-rate problems, all-rounder Keemo Paul returns to the team for his first match of the series in the home side’s only change from the second Test in Antigua.
Leading 2-0 in the series and having reclaimed the Wisden Trophy following crushing victories in the first two matches, West Indies resisted the temptation to give fast bowler Oshane Thomas a debut on a pitch at the Darren Sammy Stadium reputed to be the paciest in the Caribbean.
By contrast, England are seeking to avoid their first whitewash in a series against the West Indies since 1986 and have made two changes from the team thrashed by ten wickets a week earlier.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes and young all-rounder Sam Curran are dropped with opening batsman Keaton Jennings recalled after missing the second Test while fast bowler Mark Wood, who was drafted into the touring party as replacement for the injured Olly Stone, comes into the final eleven.
Teams: West Indies – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel.
England – Joe Root (captain), Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Joe Dely, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Rod Tucker (NZL)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)