One of the most debatable and discussed issues over the last couple of days is the omission of Stuart Broad from the first Test between England and West Indies in Southampton. The home side made the controversial call of dropping Stuart Broad in favour of genuine pace bowlers proved detrimental for them. And former seamer Ryan Sidebottom has joined the discussion as well.
Stuart Broad’s absence from the opening match of the home season marked his first in a home Test since 2012 across 51 consecutive games. It was indeed a surprise call since the veteran seamer was their best the previous season and has a tally of 485 wickets in 138 Tests. Broad took 23 wickets in five Ashes Tests in 2019 at 12.23 apiece and 48 in the last 12 months.
Ryan Sidebottom understands Stuart Broad’s disappointment at being left out of the side and gets that it means a great deal to him to still play for England. While stand-in-captain Ben Stokes stated that Broad and Chris Woakes took their non-selection as champions, the former revealed being angry and frustrated over his axing.
“He was bitterly disappointed in his interview and I get it, you want that heartfelt emotion and disappointment and you want it to come out because it means a great deal to him and it still does,” Sidebottom, who played 22 Tests for England, stated as quoted by Belfast Telegraph.com
While Sidebottom raised eyebrows giving Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, he does not doubt their quality but experience. The Yorkshire left-arm seamer was firm on including Broad and Anderson on the team sheet without a second thought.
“Mark Wood has not played a lot of Test cricket, Jofra Archer is still learning his trade and this is nothing against either of them, but I would have picked Stuart Broad and James Anderson on the team-sheet straight away,”
“Stuart Broad has been outstanding” : Ryan Sidebottom
The 42-year old conceded that he was taken aback at not seeing Broad’s name on the team-sheet and that England have always been pace-oriented. Sidebottom continued by saying that if the 34-year old had undergone two or three poor series, his axe would be justified.
“I was hugely surprised. We get a bit too carried away with pace in this country, we always have been. It’s like ‘we need 90mph bowlers’. Stuart Broad has been outstanding.
If he’d have had two or three bad series and was left out for this game, you would have understood and he would have held his hands up as much as anyone else.” he added.