SOUTHAMPTON, England, Aug 21 (Reuters) - England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in windy conditions in the third and final tests against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl on Friday.
The home side have brought fast bowler Jofra Archer back into the side for left-arm seamer Sam Curran as their only change, retaining off-spinner Dom Bess in the line-up after there was speculation he could miss out.
“It does look drier than the previous wicket here, so we will try and make most of it first up,” Root said at the toss.
“It’s strange conditions, it looks like it will be quite temperamental all day. The winds are strong, so that will make it tough for bowlers.”
Root conceded the decision to select Archer over Curran will weaken their batting, but feels they have enough in their top six to cope.
“When Sam plays it improves our batting, but we feel we have the strength we need. Jofra has had a week off and now comes back in,” he said.
Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali reveals they have an unchanged side, and said he too would have elected to bat in what is a must-win test to level the series at 1-1.
“We would loved to bat first, it looks a good track. We will try to utilise the conditions in the first two hours and pick up early wickets,” he said.
“It is the last test and a very important one for us, we must win.”
England won the first test in Manchester by three wickets, while the rain-hit second fixture was a draw in Southampton.
England: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (captain), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah. (Reporting by Nick Said Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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