Ben Stokes, interim skipper of the England Cricket team stated that he stood by his decision of the omission of experienced seamer Stuart Broad from the playing XI for the first Test against the West Indies, which the visitors won by four wickets at the Ageas Bowl. Chasing 200 to win on the fifth day, despite facing good spells of bowling from both Jofra Archer and spearhead of the pace attack James Anderson, West Indies came out on top and registered a memorable win, largely thanks to Jermaine Blackwood (95), who played one of the most responsible and gritty knocks of his life to help his side take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Stokes said after the game ended yesterday, “I don’t regret leaving Stuart Broad out, and we are fortunate to leave someone like him out. I would be upset if he didn’t show the passion he did in that interview, and he’s nowhere near done. If he plays in the second Test I hope he walks off with some wickets.”
Stokes also talked about the missed chances from England in the 4th innings. England failed to hold on to several catches and missed an easy run out oppurtunity early on in the chase, where Zak Crawley failed to gather the ball with Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood almost at the same end, which allowed Blackwood to reach home safely.
“Pressure shows itself in different ways, and some hectic running goes on in the middle, and there are chances we didn’t take. There are a lots of positives in retrospect and this game was a good learning curve,” added Stokes.
Broad, who is 15 wickets away from the elusive 500 Test wickets mark, having taken 485 Test wickets in 138 Tests since making his debut in 2007, had admitted that he was “frustrated, angry and gutted” after being dropped for the first Test. England didn’t include him in the side as they went with returning James Anderson and the extra pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.