It seems quite evident from the conversation with Sky Sports that England seamer Stuart Broad has not taken too well to his non selection in the playing XI for the first Test against the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl. England have gone with 3 fast bowlers, Anderson, Archer, and Wood, with Dom Bess being the lone spinner in the XI and Stokes, the interim skipper, fulfilling the duties of a fourth fast bowler.
Broad, who is the second highest wicket taker for England in Test Cricket, told Sky Sports just before the start of yesterday’s play, “I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you’re disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks.”
“I’m frustrated, angry and gutted. It’s difficult to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled the last couple of years, I felt it was my shirt. I was in the team for the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.”
Broad was England’s leading wicket-taker in their previous Test series – he claimed 14 wickets at a cost of 19.42 apiece in South Africa – and in the Ashes series of 2019, when he claimed 23 wickets at 26.65.
Broad continued, “I spoke to Ed Smith (national selector) last night, he said he was involved in picking the 13 and this side was picked purely for this pitch. I wanted clarification on my the future going forward and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward. So yes, I was frustrated in the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team.”
Broad, though, accepted the fact that bowlers picked ahead of him also deserved their places and accepted that the current competition for places was probably a healthy thing for England. He said, “You can’t argue the bowlers walking on that field don’t deserve to play. Everyone deserves to play. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI. It’s just annoying when it’s not you that’s in that XI. Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That’s where selection has been tricky. It’s great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks. It’s the only way that England cricket moves forward and gets better. And with high competition in squads it keeps the standard high. Everyone is under pressure for their spots.”