Ben Stokes could play the series decider against West Indies at Old Trafford as a specialist batsman due to injury.

Stokes became the first seam-bowling allrounder since 2004 to deliver more than 20 overs and face more than 400 deliveries at Old Trafford. While his performance helped England secure victory, it also left him with a stiff quad muscle. As a result, England will delay naming their side until the morning of the game.

Stokes pulled out of the attack midway through an over towards the end of the Test reporting stiffness. Although he said at the time it was a precaution, it would appear the quick turnaround between games hasn't provided enough time for a full recovery.

Having risen to No. 3 in the ICC's Test rankings for batsmen, however, there is no question that he will retain his place in the side. It could also be that he bowls later in the game as required.

"We'll have to see where Ben is at because he's still feeling it a little bit in his quad and we need to make sure he's fit to bowl," England captain, Joe Root, said on Thursday. "Ben pretty much spent the whole of the second Test on the field so it was a long old game for him.

"He is definitely okay to play as a batsman. It's just how much of an impact he can have with the ball throughout the whole game and in the second innings.

"We talk about looking after everyone but this summer, with so many games in such a short space of time, when you are 150 percent every ball for six games on the bounce, it's always going to take its toll at some point. We all want to make sure we get the most out of Ben and I'm sure he wants to ride the wave. We all want him to do that as well but it is important he's looked after."

Root also had praise for Stokes in recognising the potential of the situation and pulling out of bowling when he did. It was, Root suggested, something that the younger, more impetuous Stokes may have struggled to do.

"He's matured so much and I think we saw that when he said he wasn't quite right to finish the over," Root said. "That's a massive step forward for him. It shows his maturity with his cricket because we wouldn't have seen that a few years ago. He would have kept going and might have done himself some serious damage. It does take a lot to keep him down and take him out of the action."

One option England are likely to consider is playing an all-seam attack. That would mean Dom Bess sits out with Root providing the spin as required. Another option would see England retain Bess, with the three main seamers required to carry a heavier workload.

"We've got plenty of good options," Root said. "Whatever combination we go with is definitely capable of taking 20 wickets."