Former Australian great Shane Warne on Wednesday questioned England skipper Joe Root’s decision to rest two of his premium pacers in James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the first Ashes Test. The series opener between England and Australia is being played at the Gabba - a venue where England’s last victory came 35 years ago.
Many believed that the English team would head into this game with their best foot forward as this is the perfect opportunity for them to break their Gabba jinx by defeating the hosts. However, Root had other plans as he decided to rest Anderson and Broad to keep them fresh for the Adelaide Test, which will be a day/night affair and will be played by the pink ball.
Anderson and Broad are England’s leading wicket-taker in the longest format of the game. They have over 1100 wickets between them and spin legend Shane Warne is not able to comprehend the fact that the two will not be hitting the crease at Gabba.
Speaking to FoxCricket, Warne was also surprised with England think tank’s decision to bat first due to the overcast condition of the Gabba and green pitch, which suits England bowlers.
“It’s huge. It’s one of those things, you would have thought the think tank of the England squad would have been, ‘Let’s hit Australia first up’. It looks overcast at the Gabba, the pitch looks green, Anderson and Broad together, strike while the iron’s hot. Broad’s had the wood on Warner so if I was going to rest them and keep them for as many Test matches as you can, play them in the first couple," Warner said.
Warne also cited Broad’s impressive record against star Aussie opener David Warner as another reason he should have played in the first Test in Anderson’s absence.
“I would have thought play the Gabba, play at Adelaide and then if you have to mix and match a bit and rest and rotate, then so be it. Australia lost a Test at the Gabba last summer (against India) for the first time in over 30 years, I would have been hitting them right between the eyes with Anderson and Broad but unfortunately they (England) have decided to rest them," the spin legend concluded.