The Selectors and Stuart Broad

Yet again I’ve been proved totally wrong and the selectors proved totally right. I never actually called for Stuart Broad to be dropped, but I did think that Tim Bresnan deserved to play at Lord’s in his place and I thought Broad was very lucky to be retained in the side after some of his indifferent performances this summer.

Luckily I don’t pick the England team, the selectors, Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower do. They all backed Stuart Broad and yet again ‘Team England’ have been rewarded for showing loyalty and consistency.
Not only has Broad bowled really well, but he has also batted very well – and his runs haven’t been easy runs either, they have all counted and have had a massive influence on the outcome of both test matches to date.
England looked dead and buried at tea on Day 1 in this game, Broad’s 64 just about kept England in the game and as a result of that innings and his 6 wickets England are now in a position to win this test.

That’s 138 runs and 13 wickets from Broad so far in this series, he has also had a couple of easy catches go down off his bowling, so it could have been far better for him. I’m sure Tim Bresnan would have done a decent enough job if he had played at Lord’s, but credit has to go to the England management yet again for getting the big calls right.

If they could only sort out the ODI team (some people are never satisfied).

Stuart Broad V Tim Bresnan

Who will get the final bowling spot for Thursday’s 1st test against India? Personally, I think the selectors will stick with Stuart Broad.
Broad has been struggling for some time now, he looks like he came back into the England side too quickly after injury, he needed more games in county cricket first. He has looked short of match sharpness and test cricket against the No.1 side in the world is surely no place to try and bowl yourself back into form.
I’m not for a minute jumping on Broad’s back here and claiming he’s rubbish and should be dropped, just purely that he is out of sorts at the moment and this series is not one for taking risks in. He could well play and perform, that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest as he is a class bowler.
It could also be a risk of sorts picking Bresnan, as compared to Broad, he is relatively inexperienced at this level. But Bresnan played a big part in the Ashes win last winter, arguably a bigger part than Broad.
It also wouldn’t hurt England too rotate the bowlers a bit more. This is probably going to be a batsman dominated series, so Bresnan’s stamina and ability to bowl long stints could help England. Such is Bresnan’s work rate, he almost does the work of two men and goes some way to filling the void of the 5th bowler that England currently don’t have.
There is nothing wrong with going for a bit of ‘horses for courses’ from time to time. If the pitch looks flat, pick Bresnan for his stamina. If it looks like it carries bounce, then pick Broad (but with a whisper in his ear not to get carried away).
As I already said, I believe the selectors will stick with Broad. They have done this with the batsmen with remarkable success with Alastair Cook, and I expect them to take the same view with the bowlers.
And a mention for the unlucky Steven Finn as well. When it comes to England selection he must feel he has upset someone somewhere as hasn’t really done anything wrong and keeps on getting left out.
He is a good young bowler who’s time will come again. He’s had a taste of test cricket and I’m sure he is well aware that there is one or two things he needs to work on with his bowling and county cricket will give him the chance to do so. He will come again for England and he will be better for the experience when that time does come.