South African-born Keaton Jennings has been recalled by England for the third and final Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been dropped and replaced by Jennings for the Test in St Lucia on Saturday 9 February. Top-order batsman Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket in place of Foakes.
Jennings was replaced by Joe Denly for the second Test in Antigua, which the West Indies won to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead, but the continued failings of the England top order (and an array of injuries) have prompted his recall to the squad.
Foakes enjoyed a brilliant introduction to Test cricket with a century on debut in Sri Lanka, but his form has waned in the West Indies, as he scored just two, five, 35 and 13 in the first two Tests.
In his 16 Tests to date, Jennings has averaged just 25.86 with the bat, despite scoring a century on Test debut.
‘We came away this winter trying to do things differently and find ways of winning away from home,’ said England captain Joe Root in an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Agnew.
‘We had great success in Sri Lanka [where England won 3-0], and it’s not quite materialised here. Whether that be down to selection or how poorly we’ve played in parts, you have to see it for what it is and how you can best move that forward.’
England has suffered a disastrous turn of fortune in the Caribbean, having arrived as the form team in Test cricket with eight wins from their previous nine Tests. The West Indies turned that form on its head with two emphatic wins in the first two Tests.
‘It’s very easy to spend loads of time on individual aspects, but you have to be very honest with yourself and where you can get better,’ Root added. ‘I think a lot of it comes down to a mental approach individually with the bat, and I think that clarity coming into this game is really important.’
Jonny Bairstow (wk)
Joe Root (c)
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