Stuart Broad set to be axed from England team
Senior England pacer Stuart Broad might be dropped from the playing XI for the first Test against the West Indies starting Wednesday with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood being tipped to partner James Anderson.
According to reports in the British media, Broad could miss a first home Test match in eight years with England mulling going ahead with the dual pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood along with Anderson.
Wood and Archer have had their injury issues but are now match-fit. Wood, who had suffered a stress fracture during England’s tour of South Africa, is now good to go.
With only one spinner in offie Dom Bess, Broad’s place in the playing XI has come under doubt.
“With no spare batsman in this final group for Wednesday and one spinner, Dom Bess, it leaves the make-up of the seam attack as the only issue still to be debated by Chris Silverwood, the head coach, and Ben Stokes, his stand-in captain,” the Guardian reported.
Even Chris Woakes, despite his good show in the intra-squad warm-up game, is likely to miss out.
Broad last missed a home Test when he was rested against the West Indies in 2012. With 485 Test scalps, he is only second to Anderson in terms of highest wicket-takers for England. England head coach Silverwood and stand-in captain Stokes, however, might go for Wood, who can hit a speed of around 145kmph.
Young England batsman Zak Crawley feels Stokes will have no trouble filling the captain’s shoes in the absence of Joe Root as the all-rounder is already a “big leader” of the team.
Root will miss the Test series opener against the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl to attend the birth of his second child, handing over the captaincy duties to England’s World Cup hero Stokes.
“Ben is already a big leader in the team, so he is not going to have any problems leading in the first Test,” Crawley told Sky Sports Cricket.
The 22-year-old, who had made his debut against New Zealand at Hamilton in November, scored 43 and 34 batting at No.3 in England’s three-day internal warm-up game last week.
The youngster, who averages 27.33 from four Tests, had to face the likes of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at The Ageas Bowl.
“It didn’t feel as strange as I thought it would. Ben said at the start of the game that he wanted it to be really competitive and I think it was,” Crawley said.