England set to be without Robinson for decider vs West Indies | Loop Jamaica

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West Indies’ captain Kraigg Brathwaite plays a defensive forward shot against England during day five of their second cricket Test match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Sunday, March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan).

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (AP) — England are set to be without Ollie Robinson for the test series decider against the West Indies starting Thursday after the paceman struggled to prove his fitness in a net session.

Robinson had a back spasm during the warm-up match before the three-match series began and was subsequently ruled out of the tests in Antigua and Barbados, which both ended in draws.

The 28-year-old Robinson, who was expected to play a key role in the Caribbean after the omission of veteran fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the touring squad, also looks likely to miss the third test in Grenada and therefore complete the tour without making a single appearance.

Craig Overton missed the second test at the Kensington Oval because of illness but came through a practice session well on Tuesday and is set to replace Matthew Fisher in the only change in the England lineup.

“The two of them trained,” England captain Joe Root said of Robinson and Overton, “and Ollie wasn’t as good as we would have liked or he was expecting himself.

“It’s just frustrating for him as it is for me. He’s working very hard but there’s something that’s nagging away at him. I’m not sure exactly of the medical prognosis. He’s just got to keep on doing what he’s doing and trust in time that he’s going to get himself back.”

The prospects of a second spinner — in Matt Parkinson, to back up Jack Leach — playing have receded given the prospect of a greener, livelier surface.

“I think we’re looking forward to a wicket with a bit more grass on it, as all of our seamers will be,” Root said. “By all accounts that’s what we’re expecting here.”

Grenada last hosted a test in 2015, when England claimed a nine-wicket win following an unbeaten 182 by Root.

England are looking to bounce back with a series win following a 4-0 loss to Australia in the Ashes.

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