Bridgetown, Barbados: A sore back has put England allrounder Ben Stokes in doubt while the West Indies is confident two of its fast bowlers have recovered from injuries to be fit for the third and final cricket test starting at Kensington Oval on Friday.
Stokes is a hard-hitting, left-handed batsman and a bowler capable of right-arm pace at up to 90 mph (145 kph). If he is ruled out, the choice for his replacement appears to be between two other fast men in the squad, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood.
Jerome Taylor was eliminated by a strained right shoulder from the West Indies in last week's second test in Grenada, won by England by nine wickets. Jason Holder, the towering allrounder, had to be taken off on a stretcher on the final day after he strained his left ankle while bowling and crashed onto the pitch.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons said a decision on their selection would be taken on the morning of the match. But he and captain Denesh Ramdin expected both to be in the final 11.
Taylor has the experience of 38 tests and 108 wickets. He was the West Indies' leading bowler with five wickets in the drawn first test in Antigua. Holder's seam bowling is augmented by his improved batting, evident in his match-saving unbeaten 103 in the first test.
The West Indies has called up left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul as cover for legspinner Devendra Bishoo, who cut a finger on his bowling hand sending down 59 overs in the second test.
Ramdin said they have reviewed their shortcomings in Grenada, when was shaping to be a second successive was ruined by James Anderson on the fifth morning.
"It's going to be a good pitch, a bit more bounce than the last pitches," Ramdin said. "When we play in Barbados, there's always a bit of bounce, and we need to come hard at the English.
"We are one down, so we need to play a little more aggressive and positive cricket."
Two of the most reliable batsmen on either side have gone through a slump.
Left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the 40-year-old veteran of 163 tests since 1994, has scored only one half-century, 50 against South Africa in Cape Town last December, in his last nine test innings, in which he averages 17.55 against a career 51.71. His 11,842 runs are just 70 short of Brian Lara's record as the West Indies top-scorer in test cricket, but he's crawling to the mark.
Jonathan Trott, 33, has returned to the England team for the first time since withdrawing from the series in Australia after the first test in November 2013. His scores in the first two tests were 0, 4, 59 and 0.
Both coaches have backed them for the final test.
Sell-out crowds are expected at the 12,000-seat stadium over the first three days. They include an estimated 4,000 travelling England supporters.