West Indies v England: Ben Stokes a doubt for third Test

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Cook ponders England team selection
West Indies v England third Test
Venue: Bridgetown, Barbados. Dates: 1-5 May. Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

All-rounder Ben Stokes may miss the third and final Test against West Indies because of a back injury as England aim to win the series.

Alastair Cook's side lead 1-0 after drawing in Antigua before winning by nine wickets in Grenada.

England play two Tests against New Zealand in May before the summer Ashes against Australia and Cook is keen for his side to maintain their momentum.

"When you're winning it is a habit and the guys get confidence," said Cook.

"We know how important the next five days are. When you lose you change things around but you get stability when you're winning.

"But it is a great place to be - especially after the wickets we played on - to be able to force a result in the last Test. Now we look forward to try and win the series."

Play is due to begin at 15:00 BST on Friday.

Changing a winning side

England
Alastair Cook (left) made scores of 76 and 59 not out as England won the second Test in Grenada

Cook may have to replace Stokes if the 23-year-old is not fit enough, but the England captain admits he would rather play an unchanged side.

"It is a tough team to get into, but we want to give people a fair crack of the whip when they're there - not just play one Test and get jettisoned out," said Cook.

"We try to give people confidence and show they're not always playing for their place, but it's easier said than done. When you're playing for England you have a squad of 17 players and everyone is desperate to play.

"We know if you put the West Indies under pressure, they can crack. We have to earn the right to do that again, no matter how long it takes."

Trott to continue as opener?

Jonathan Trott
England opener Jonathan Trott has an average of 15.75 from the first two Test matches of this series

Jonathan Trott has opened the batting in both the first two Tests in the West Indies, but only scored 63 runs in four innings.

BBC Test Match special pundit Geoffrey Boycott expects England to keep faith with Trott in Barbados.

"I would have gone with Adam Lyth initially. He scored five hundreds for Yorkshire last year but they decided to go with the man with a proven record at number three," said Boycott.

"If they can get Trott to open and do well then it cements the batting. Now they have started with him, they have to go with him for a third time. They can't just drop him. But it shouldn't be difficult making runs against this West Indies side - they can't bowl."

Bowling changes?

Liam Plunkett
Liam Plunkett has taken 41 wickets in the 13 Tests he has played for England

Boycott says he would "definitely play Liam Plunkett" in the third Test after the fast bowler was omitted from the line-up for the first two Tests.

"If you're going to have any pace in the pitch at all, and I accept that West Indies pitches are getting slower and slower, then it will be here," he added.

"I would also play [leg-spinner] Adil Rashid. If it gets very hot, as it has been over the last few days, then you can't keep bowling seamers, they will get knackered. But I know England will not play Rashid.

"The selectors picked him, but the captain Cook and the manager Peter Moores don't like him and think he is too expensive."

West Indies team news

Jason Holder
Jason Holder made a century in the first Test, but suffered an injury in the second Test

The hosts could have fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder available.

Taylor was his team's leading wicket-taker in the first Test, but a strained shoulder ruled him out of the second Test. Holder was carried off on a stretcher on the last day in Grenada after he strained his left ankle while bowling but is expected to be fit.

West Indies have called up left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul as cover for leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who cut a finger on his bowling hand sending down 59 overs in the second Test.

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