‘Had this been Ashes, would Broad have not played’: Hussain questions fast bowler’s omission
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has questioned the team management for leaving Stuart Broad out of first Test against West Indies which the hosts lost by five wickets. Hussain pointed out he failed to understand Broad’s exclusion from the Southampton Test, saying it better not have stemmed from the assumption that England took the West Indies lightly and hence gave Mark Wood a chance ahead of Broad.
“All I would say about Broad is that if this had been the first Test of an Ashes series, would he have been playing. I would say, yes, 100 per cent? So why wasn’t he playing against the West Indies?” Hussain told Sky Sports. “Was it because we underestimated West Indies and took them lightly? They hold the Wisden Trophy - we have underestimated them in the past and they have beaten us, so why do it here?
“Was it because they couldn’t choose between Wood and Archer and so split up Broad and (Jimmy) Anderson and said ‘look to the future’? Look to the now. Win this game. It’s a three-match series and you don’t hold the Wisden Trophy.”
Broad expressed his frustrations of getting the axe in the series opener. The England quick who has played the last 51 Tests at home before the Southampton game, dating back to 2012 when he was rested in a dead match, and finished as the team’s top wicket-taker in both the 2019 Ashes series and the away series in South Africa. Hussain hopes emotions will play a smaller role in the selection for the next Test, that starts Thursday in Manchester.
“I hope they don’t think ‘two wrongs make a right - Broad has had a bit of moan, maybe he should have played’. Don’t go on the press, go on what you think for the next Test,” the former captain said.
“The good thing for England is that the back-up bowling - Broad and (Chris) Woakes are in reserve at the moment - has experience and a huge amount of skill and as we get to the second and third Tests that might have bearing on this series.”