October 1, 2020

Broad ‘nowhere near done’ as England player – Stokes

Blackwood’s 95 helps propel West Indies to victory in first Test

Stuart Broad is “nowhere near done” as an England player despite being left out of the first-Test defeat by West Indies, says stand-in captain Ben Stokes.

West Indies won a thrilling Test by four wickets on the final evening at Southampton to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Broad, 34, said he was “angry, frustrated and gutted” to be dropped.

“Stuart’s interview was absolutely brilliant,” Stokes told BBC Sport.

“For a guy who has played over 100 Tests and taken the amount of wickets he has to have that emotion and desire still burning inside is amazing.”

Broad has taken 485 Test wickets in 138 Tests since making his debut in 2007, and had the second-highest tally in the world in the 12 months before this game.

However, England omitted him in favour of the returning Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, and the extra pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

Without Broad, they opted to bat first in grey, damp conditions that are likely to have suited his bowling, instead bowling last on a pitch they hoped would wear enough to suit Archer and Wood.

Archer took 3-45 in the fourth innings, but West Indies overhauled a target of 200 thanks largely to Jermaine Blackwood’s fine 95.

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“In terms of the selection, if I was to regret that it doesn’t send a very good message to the guys who played,” said Stokes, captaining England for the first time in place of Joe Root, who was on paternity leave.

“We went with the decision that pace would do better for us in the long run on this game.

“You make decisions and you’ve got to stand by them. I’m not the type of person to look back and regret them.”

England were bowled out for 204 in the first innings, then wasted a strong position in the second as they lost 5-30 late on the fourth day.

“We all know where we made the errors,” said Stokes.

“You have to be good enough to put first-innings runs on the board, no matter what the conditions.

“We put another 60, 70 or 80 runs on what they had to chase and it’s a completely different game.”

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