Inside edge picks #pacemen 3rd test England vs West Indies

There is much debate about who should be the pace attack for the 3rd and final test of this series between England and West Indies. Following the humbling they faced in the first test, England stormed to victory on the back of Stokes' heroics with the bat and ball.

The team selected by the seven of the team is as follows (assuming Stokes can bowl):

Anderson 7/7

Broad 7/7

Archer 5/7

Bess 4/7

What does each member think? And who did they pick? First up; it's the new member to the team Sean Wilson making his debut in our Inside picks series:

Sean Wilson

Anderson, Broad, Archer, Leach

While the policy of rotation has made sense so far, England now have to play their strongest attack to beat the West Indies in the third Test. Anderson coming back will add a threat with the new ball and Broad deserves to stay in the side after his impressive performance in the second Test.

Jofra Archer’s pace and x-factor makes him the ideal candidate as the third seamer, though if he is not in the right head space, England will face a tricky decision between Sam Curran, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes. They may lean towards Curran’s left-arm option, along with his knack of picking up key wickets and batting ability. England would also be wise to take a look at Jack Leach for the third Test, given that ten of the eleven in the West Indies side are right-handers. Leach taking the ball away from the bat might be a better option than Dom Bess, who has proven to be inconsistent in the series so far.

Samuel Bruning

Anderson, Broad, Archer, Bess

It’s no surprise that Stuart Broad gets the backing of all seven writers. He was phenomenal in the previous test, and obviously keeps his place. I’m pleased to see Jimmy Anderson back in, but even though we all know he’s a brilliant bowler, a good performance is needed to remind us of that.

Now the two more controversial picks. Dom Bess being retained as spinner is the right call. He isn’t bowling brilliantly, but he’s doing enough and dropping him would dent his confidence too much. And Jofra Archer should definitely play. He made a mistake, but, he’s apologied and missed a test. It’ll be great to see him back. This means Sam Curran and Chris Woakes miss out, which is unfortunate and sad from them, but they’ll both get another go given the packed summer schedule.

Duke and Kookabura

Anderson, Broad, Archer, Bess

Several of the WI batsmen are in poor form, and there's no one better to exploit indecision than Anderson on his home turf. An average of 22 demands his inclusion.

Stuart Broad's place is secured after a brilliant display last week; his spell of 3-1 ensured we had the time to force the pace.

Jofra Archer returns to add pace and hostility to the attack, if Broad felt he had something to prove last week, perhaps the same is true of Archer after his mistake last week. Pace, bounce, accuracy at 90mph. Yes please.

Bess has batted sprightly this series and delivered a couple of key wickets, not least Holder on Day 5 last week. He is young and still learning, not the finished article but he seems to be improving all the time.

And of course my fifth bowling option is some lad called *checks notes* Stokes. Rooty, what's he like?

England to take the series 2-1.

Rob Rush

Anderson, Broad, Archer, Bess

When everyone is fit and healthy, this is England’s strongest bowling unit. Nothing needs to be said about Anderson and Broad, their wicket count speaks for them. Quite simply, the two greatest to ever open the bowling for England. Archer may have some question marks due to his recent exclusion and he admitted in the Daily Mail that he has been struggling with his mental health and racist abuse on social media. If he feels mentally fresh and contains some anger, this would be the perfect opportunity for him to unleash it.

Dom Bess hasn't really put a foot wrong in this series, making two scores of 31* and picking up crucial wickets at key times. Yes he was expensive at times during the last game, but which spinner hasn't been launched into the stands? (it's not a nice feeling, I can assure you!) Ultimately, Bess hasn't done anything to say “drop me”, so therefore there is no reason to drop him. With Ben Stokes as the all rounder in this unit, West Indies will need to bat well, otherwise it could be a long 5 days for them.

Cricket thoughts

Anderson, Broad, Woakes, Bess

Overall happy with the bowlers selection. Broad and Anderson have to be locked in after Broad’s inspired performance in the second test. Anderson looked to be back to near his best down at the Ageas Bowl and with the deciding test match being on his home ground it would be just wrong to not let him bowl from his home end to try and decide the series.

Bess was my selection, I believe we need to back him and he will only get better. Calls for Leach to play with the number of right handers in the West Indies lineup are fair but I think Bess should retain his spot.

I personally would’ve stuck with Woakes over Archer but was almost a 50:50. Woakes looked as good as ever in the second match and his record in England makes him very hard to drop. The extra pace of Archer will be handy and will be great to see him back in the fold after his suspension in the previous test.

Inside Edge Cricket

Anderson, Broad, Archer, Leach

This is without doubt the hardest decision that England will need to make this weekend, for once we’re in an enviable position where we have too much quality and too few places.

After a lot of deliberation and some back and forth, my seam attach for the 3rd test would be: Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer.

First of all, I appreciate that this is very harsh on both Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. Curran has never lost a home test he’s played in and has the knack of making things happen, even if his average is underwhelming. Whereas Chris Woakes has just passed 1000 runs and 100 wickets quicker than Sobers, and currently has a 22.9 average at home in England and a ridiculous 20.31 average at Old Trafford. I whole heartedly agree that he is the most underappreciated England cricketer of this generation. Yet after going backwards and forwards, I still decided to leave him out in favour of Jimmy Anderson.

Let me first say that Stuart Broad is in because he just generates that little extra bounce, and as we saw in the 2nd test, he can change the momentum of a game with one spell. He constantly beats the outside edge and takes big wickets in big moments. 491 wickets and he looked fresh during that 2nd test, he spoke out about his unhappiness at being dropped for the first test and he backed that up in the 2nd test by taking 6 wickets at just 18 apiece. He was the first name on my seam-attack.

I’m going to stick with Jimmy over Woakes, despite the fact that Woakes has a better average with the ball at Old Trafford and extends the lineup with his batting. Jimmy should be fresh coming off a rest and playing at his home-ground with add extra motivation to show why he’s still England’s number one. Jimmy can be devastating in the right conditions and it looks as though the weather may be more beneficial to bowlers than batters this weekend.

Finally I’ve gone for Jofra. At points it does look like he’s going through the motions, but he’s another player that can turn it on and turn a game on its head. His extra pace with suit the pitch at Old Trafford and I think after his lapse in judgement, he’ll want to show England why he’s key to their future development. We often forget that his average in England is excellent (22.08) and he has the x-factor that England need.

All Things Cricket

Anderson, Broad, Woakes, Leach

The teams selection is broadly what I think will play in the final test. Anderson and Broad being excellent and Archer providing fire power; whilst Bess has bowled well enough to be maintained.

Personally I would have gone for Woakes after his superb bowling in the last test. Feels crazy to leave the most economical bowler out of the side who took 5-75 last time out; Archer had a decent spell in Southampton, however he was largely poor.

Yes its all very samey with speed but we're in England and it swings. Pick the blokes who swing it. Personally I don't think Bess has bowled well enough to be secure; he bowled a lot of half volleys in the last test and given the right handers in the West Indian line up, I'd pick Leach to come in.


The team have had their say. The two greats of English bowling with a seriously talented pair of youngsters in tandem.

Who do you think England should pick? @InsideEdgeCric on twitter


You've made a great choice!