Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

West Indies v England: 'Sky is the limit' as hosts seek to complete Test series sweep

Caribbean side have been far superior to the tourists so far in this series, but will be without captain Jason Holder for the third and final match

 Kraigg Brathwaite, centre, will lead the West Indies for the final Test against England in the absence of suspended captain Jason Holder, left. AFP
 Kraigg Brathwaite, centre, will lead the West Indies for the final Test against England in the absence of suspended captain Jason Holder, left. AFP

West Indies assistant coach Vasbert Drakes said on Friday that "the sky's the limit" for his young team as they look to complete a 3-0 sweep of the Test series against England.

The Caribbean side lead the three-match series 2-0 following victories by 381 runs in Barbados and by 10 wickets in Antigua.

The third and final Test gets underway at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Saturday.

"The sky is the limit for this side as they continue to grow," said Drakes. "The guys understand the legacy of West Indies cricket and they want to continue to inspire the next generation of cricketers to play the game.

"The guys are playing really good cricket. I'm really proud as a former West Indies cricketer. All kudos to the players."

West Indies will be without captain Jason Holder who was suspended for the final Test due to his team's slow over-rate during their victory in Antigua last week.

The 27-year-old all-rounder, who has taken seven wickets and scored 229 runs in the series, was also fined 40 per cent of his match fee, while all the other Windies players were fined 20 per cent each.

Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the side in Holder's absence, with seamer Keemo Paul called up to replace the captain in the squad.

Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has also been included, despite the death of his mother during the second Test.

Despite Holder's absence, Drakes said he was anticipating a wicket which will suit his fast bowlers.

"We are all really looking forward to playing in St Lucia. It reminds me of the wickets that were prepared for us, the West Indians, in the 1970s and '80s," he said.

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"That's the environment we are trying to create. The objective is to make sure we have pace. Kemar Roach has really started to mature as a bowler and Shannon Gabriel has the X-factor for us.

"I'm really excited to be part of this squad where we continue to put fear in opposition hearts.

"I wouldn't use the words so strong to say intimidate with pace but when you have pace, as someone who played the game as a fast bowler, it gives you more options of being able outfox the batters."

Meanwhile, England on Friday named a 12-man squad for the final Test.

Mark Wood and Keaton Jennings are in contention to play, with Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach missing out from the 14-man squad in the Caribbean.

Updated: February 9, 2019 10:18 AM

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