Lightly-worn second Test pitch could be used for series finale
The third Test on Friday could be played on the same pitch used for the second match, due to bad weather hindering preparation at the Ageas Bowl.
It is understood that officials are worried they will have to gamble on using a worn pitch for the final Test, which would mean winning the toss (and being able to bat first) could almost decide the outcome of the match.
The pitch was used for only 134.3 overs in the second Test, but it would still start the third match worn, making batting very difficult.
The situation depends on the weather at the Ageas Bowl over the next three days. If it is clear then the ground staff will have time to prepare a fresh pitch. But if it rains, and wet weather is forecast today and tomorrow, then they might not have enough time to get it up to standard before the start of the final Test.
Work on it has been prevented over the past few days by the heavy rain in Southampton, which required it to be covered most of the time.