Stuart Broad sought reassurances about his future in England’s cricket team after feeling “frustrated, angry and gutted” for getting dropped for the first test against the West Indies.
The 34-year-old fast bowler, who has earned 138 test caps and sits second on the country’s all-time wickets list, was edged out of the team when England opted for a pace attack of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in Southampton.
Broad played the previous 51 home tests, dating to 2012 when he was rested in a dead match, and finished as the team’s top wicket-taker in both the 2019 Ashes and the away series in South Africa.
“I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” Broad said.
“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement — you get disappointed if you drop your phone and break your screen.
“I’ve been frustrated, angry and gutted because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt, having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.”
Broad said he was given “pretty positive feedback going forward” about his status in the squad after asking for clarification from national selector Ed Smith. England stand-in captain Ben Stokes previously told Broad the selectors were “going with extra pace” at the Rose Bowl.
Broad acknowledged England has an unusually strong field of candidates in the pace department.
“We’re in quite a unique position this summer. Very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit like we’ve got at the minute and all your bowlers ready to go,” he said in an interview on Sky Sports.
“I felt like I deserved a spot in the team, like everyone else. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI, too. So it is hard to take but also I’m quite pleased I feel frustrated and feel gutted and angry because if I didn’t I’d have a different decision to make.”
James Anderson, England’s leading wicket-taker, understood the frustration of his long-time strike partner.
“It’s great that a guy of his age and experience is showing signs of frustration at being left out,” Anderson told the BBC.
“It shows he’s hungry to still play. But it also shows our depth in bowling. I’m sure over the course of the next tests there will be a few guys disappointed”.
Stokes has said England is likely to rotate the bowlers during the three-match series against the West Indies, with the second and third tests taking place in Manchester.
Broad’s comments were somewhat justified as Wood took 1-74 while fellow pacer Jofra Archer went wicket-less in his 22 overs.
Stokes led England with 4-49, Anderson took three wickets, and Bess an impressive two on a pitch without much help for spin.
Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Holder deserved wickets as England started its second innings, but Burns and Sibley rode their luck in the last 40 minutes.
Half-centuries by Kragg Brathwaite and Shane Dowrich set up the West Indies’ first-innings lead of 114 against England on day three of the first test at the empty Rose Bowl.
The West Indies, resuming the day on 57-1, was all out for 318 less than an hour before stumps on the first full day of the rain-affected test. In the middle session it surpassed England’s first total of 204.
At the end of the day, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley somehow survived 10 overs of zippy bowling that relentlessly attacked the off stump. They made 10 and 5 respectively to have England 15 without loss and their deficit down to 99.
Stand-in captain Stokes put England on the back foot by choosing to bat first in ideal bowling conditions, but he limited the damage on day three by taking a catch and four wickets. In reaching 150 test wickets along with scoring more than 4,000 runs, he became the sixth man to the feat, after Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Jacques Kallis and Daniel Vettori.
‘We have a lot of work to do to get back into the game,” England fast bowler James Anderson told the BBC.
“We have to bat the whole day tomorrow and get a decent lead to give us any chance of winning the game.
“I thought we bowled well in patches but not our best overall as a unit. You can expect some rustiness first game back but we didn’t put enough pressure on them for long enough during the day.”