Ben Stokes Defends Stuart Broad Decision

Ben Stokes left Stuart Broad out and the West Indies won at the Ageas Bowl
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Ben Stokes Has “No Regrets” On Stuart Broad Decision

Ben Stokes, England’s stand-in skipper for the first Test match against the Windies doesn’t lament or regret the fact that he left out veteran 34-year-old fast bowler Stuart Broad out of the playing eleven at Southampton.

Stuart Broad has taken 485 test match wickets. Leaving him out created a lot of criticism from ex-players and social media. However, Ben Stokes says he has “no regrets.”

Ben Stokes says he does not regret leaving Stuart Broad out of the Ageas Bowl Test Match
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: England captain Ben Stokes speaks to Sky Sports during the post match presentations after the 1st #RaiseTheBat Test match at The Ageas Bowl on July 12, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

After not being picked by Ben Stokes, the 34-year-old Stuart Broad lashed out saying that he played a key role in the 2019 Ashes. He was also England’s highest wicket-taker in South Africa. Ben Stokes was happy to see Broad’s passion in the interview. However, he felt that it would have not gone down too well with the current team and the players selected for the first Test.

Had Ben Stokes have picked Stuart Broad, how would Mark Wood have felt? Mark Wood has had a fantastic last 12 months as well.

“No Doubting Stuart Broad’s Talent, He is A Fantastic Bowler Says,” Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes ” 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 was quoted as saying in the post-match press conference.

Ben Stokes “We made a decision based around thinking pace was going to stand us a better place in the long game. Stuart is a fantastic bowler and he understands the reasons why.”

Stuart Broad has taken the second most wickets in test matches for England as of 2020.
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 08: Stuart Broad of England clebrates winning the Ashes during day three of the 4th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Trent Bridge on August 8, 2015 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

If I was to regret that, I don’t think that sends the right message to the other guys I picked. Looking at the interview he gave I thought it was absolutely brilliant, to see the desire and passion that he showed,” he added.

The ploy to go in with Mark Wood’s pace over Broad’s experience and skill backfired

England’s strategy to go in with more pace over experience seems to have not gone down well with many who saw the game. Mark Wood was the lucky one. He got the nod ahead of Stuart Broad for the first Test against Windies.

Everyone was of the opinion that Broad could have been a force in the second innings. However, players like Wood and Dom Bess couldn’t create much impact. Broad has got a tremendous amount of experience. Plus he has the ability to reverse swing the ball that may have been handy in West Indies’ second innings.

England Practice with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the Cricket World Cup 2019
CARDIFF, WALES – JUNE 06: Mark Wood (l) and Jofra Archer (r) of England during a England Nets Session at Cardiff Wales Stadium on June 06, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Oh, Ben Stokes. Captaincy is tough. Clearly, Stuart Broad didn’t take his non-selection well. However, Ben Stokes is brushing away that aspect by saying that Stuart Broad was left out of the side solely based on the conditions. The pitch on offer at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton was the deciding factor Ben Stokes mentioned.

His philosophy was to pack the team with pace. This backfired though and to be fair it was his first game as a skipper in Test cricket. As a result, Ben Stokes should have received much less criticism. One decision based on picking Stuart Broad should perhaps not cop as much flak as it did.

Brilliant Windies prove to be good for the hosts at Southampton

Fantastic performances with the ball by Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel propelled the West Indies. Plus, the batting brilliance of Roston Chase, Kraigg Brathwaite and the match-winning knock of 95 from Jermaine Blackwood. All combined to ensure that the West Indies won the first test match at the Ageas Bowl.

This result many experts feel isn’t that much of a surprise. This is because England’s Test match performances have been on the downward spiral in the past few years. They infarct lost the Test series in the Caribbean in 2019 and looked quite out of place in that series.

Also, Read – Most Test Wickets For England Cricket

Did Ben Stokes' decision to leave Stuart Broad out cost England Cricket the test match?
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 11: West Indies captain Jason Holder celebrates dismissing England captain Ben Stokes during day four of the 1st #RaiseTheBat Test match at The Ageas Bowl on July 11, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Jofra Archer was bowling with serious venom on day 5. Therefore, someone like Stuart Broad who has got a fantastic record in the second innings with his ability to reverse swing the ball could have been a handful for the Windies batsman. Stuart Broad may have helped England win the game.

England would look at welcoming their regular Test skipper Joe Root back into the team for the second Test.  They might also pick Ben Foakes instead of a completely out of form Jos Buttler. Whether or not Broad’s unhappiness over missing out at Southampton leads to his inclusion in the upcoming matches is yet to be seen. Will Ben Stokes’ decision to leave Stuart Broad out affect Joe Root’s thinking?

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