All eyes will be once again on star all-rounders Ben Stokes and Jason Holder when England and West Indies lock horns in the third and final Test beginning Friday at the Old Trafford.
The series remains evenly poised at 1-1 after West Indies won the Southampton Test by four wickets and England came back with a 113-run win in Manchester. Holder, has now, credited Stokes for bringing back England into the three-match rubber.
“Ben Stokes, of course, stood out. He was unarguably the player of the match. He was impactful with bat and ball and his energy is always great. I love competing against him because he builds you up for a dog-fight,” Holder wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
Stokes recently surpassed Holder to become the world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder while also attaining a career-best third position among batsmen in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings.
Stokes, who trailed Holder by 54 rating points going into the second Test in Manchester, now enjoys a lead of 38 points following his brilliant knocks of 176 and 78 in the two innings at the Old Trafford respectively.
“I have never been caught up with the ICC individual rankings. My focus is solely on winning this series and people will form their own opinions so it doesn’t faze me that Stokesey went above me in the all-rounder’s rankings on Tuesday. I have my role to play to help the team and that’s all that matters,” Holder said.
Holder’s troops need just a draw to retain the Wisden Trophy as they had famously won the series at home when the two teams met the last time. The visitors are also gunning to become the first Windies team to win a Test series in England since 1988.