England could be without captain Ben Stokes for the third and final Test against New Zealand after the skipper missed Tuesday’s training session because he felt unwell (England 6/5, Draw 17/10, New Zealand 3/1 – Match Betting).
It has been a fantastic start to life as England’s Test captain for Stokes, who led his side to a five-wicket victory on his debut as skipper in the series opener at Lord’s before following that up with another five-wicket triumph at Trent Bridge.
The all-rounder has scored 176 runs and taken three wickets over those two matches, with his knock of 75 not out in the Trent Bridge success a crucial innings, but he could be missing for the finale at Headingley.
Stokes, who has returned a negative Covid test, complained of feeling unwell and travelled to Leeds from his home in the north east while the squad trained.
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If the captain is unavailable for the third Test, which starts on Thursday, then there is likely to be a debut in the longest format of the game for Yorkshire’s Harry Brook, who has impressed in the County Championship this season and is 5/1 to be England’s top run scorer in the first innings.
That may not be the only change made to the starting XI by England, with James Anderson potentially being rested due to the fact the team has an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
Pace bowlers Craig and Jamie Overton (4/1 – England Top Wicket Taker First Innings) could be battling it out for the one slot in the seam attack, while the twin brothers could both be handed an opportunity if either Stuart Broad or Matthew Potts drop out.
Should Stokes miss out, it is thought former skipper Joe Root, who is 19/10 to be England’s top run scorer in the first innings, could fill the void for the Headingley Test.
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