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It's Not the End of Road For James Anderson And Stuart Broad, Says Joe Root

Veteran England pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad (AFP Image)

Veteran England pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad (AFP Image)

Root conceded that the exclusion had left Broad and Anderson angry.

England Test skipper Joe Root has clarified that it is not the end of the road for celebrated ageing pace-bowling stalwarts Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad after they were not considered for the three-Test series in the Caribbean next month.

The England Test team is coming to terms with the 0-4 humiliation in the five-match Ashes in Australia, with the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new interim managing director of men’s cricket, Andrew Strauss, making wholesale changes to the side for the West Indies tour.

Earlier this month, England had announced a 16-member squad for the Caribbean Test tour leaving out Anderson and Broad, the country’s highest wicket-takers. Apart from Broad and Anderson, ECB has also left out Dom Bess, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan from the squad that toured Australia for the Ashes.

Root conceded on Thursday that the exclusion had left Broad and Anderson angry.

“I’ve spoken to both (Anderson and Broad) and they are obviously disappointed and angry, you’d expect that,” Root was quoted as saying by ICC. “It’s been made very clear — no-one is saying this is the end for them and it would be great to see Stuart and Jimmy very much in the mix at the start of the summer.”

Anderson has indicated that he will try to win back his spot through strong performances for Lancashire in County cricket and be back in contention for the series against New Zealand and India this year.

Root added that the players selected for the Caribbean tour had a great opportunity to grab their spots in the side for the future.

“The guys that are on the tour have got a real opportunity to step in to some different roles and strengthen what could be the backbone of this team moving forward.”

Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes are among the new-ball options Root has for West Indies, while seamer Saqib Mahmood and uncapped Yorkshire pacer Matthew Fisher may also feature during the series.

“We could come away from this tour as victors and we’ve also gained a lot of knowledge on other players. Then there are Jimmy and Broady to add back into things this summer and we’re in a really strong position.

“I don’t want this to sound like it’s a development (West Indies) tour, it’s not; it’s about winning. But we’ve got an opportunity for those guys to step into that space and better this team for it. I don’t think we should have to air every single bit of information on decisions like this. We’ve sometimes been slightly too honest about certain things and some things should stay in the room — and that’s the case in this scenario,” added Root.

England are currently ninth on the ICC World Test Championship points table with West Indies just one spot ahead.

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first published:February 25, 2022, 12:34 IST