Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Was a Mistake to Drop Broad. He's Hurt and Will Be More Dangerous Now

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Was a Mistake to Drop Broad. He's Hurt and Will Be More Dangerous Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Key robkey612

AS A cricket captain, getting the team wrong is a horrendous feeling.

You can often tell within an hour, and the most punishing thing about Test cricket is that in three hours you're not done. If you make a bad call in football, in 90 minutes your pain is over. But in cricket it will stare you in the face for days, as it did for Joe Root in Barbados as England were thrashed. He will be even more desperate to get it right in Antigua tomorrow.

England's performance with the bat meant Root was not allowed to escape the mistake of omitting Stuart Broad. If they had scored 400, not 77, the two spinners might have been useful. I mean, Roston Chase got an eight-fer. Instead, Root was left to flog Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes, and will appreciate Broad more for it.

Captaincy is not fun when you're asking bowlers to work too hard, even worse when it's in a losing cause. You want Anderson and Stokes having a lower workload, let alone a big year like this. Fast bowlers never go on forever.

The most helpful thing is for the batsmen to score runs so the quicks get proper rest. There's only two situations you feel you can really flog a bowler: when it's their last game or when they've been up to no good. At Kent, I once found out that Mitchell Claydon had been out until 5.30am and we were losing so I just bowled him and bowled him until he couldn't walk.

When you have a shocker like England did in Barbados, you can easily walk away thinking you've picked the team for Antigua already. Actually, you have to take this one in isolation, forget what's happened and pick the team accordingly. That said, I'd bring Broad straight back in, whatever the conditions. He got one game in Sri Lanka and bowled really well on a pitch offering him nothing.

Bowlers don't get credit for two things Broad has in spades: mental toughness and cricket acumen. …

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