“Someone who’s played that many Test matches and got that many wickets – to still see that desire and emotion is fantastic”
Last Updated: 12/07/20 7:31pm
Ben Stokes doesn’t have regrets in regards to the decision to drop Stuart Broad for England’s defeat to West Indies – but insisted the experienced seamer’s Test career is “nowhere near done”.
Broad, who is 2nd on England’s all-time listing of Test wicket-takers with 485 to his name, was controversially omitted at the Ageas Bowl as the home side plumped for a frontline attack of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and James Anderson.
The 34-year-old paceman admitted he felt ‘angry and frustrated’ in regards to the decision in a Sky Sports interview during the first Test, which England lost by four wickets.
But Stokes, who stood in as captain with Joe Root on paternity leave, said: “If I was to regret that, it sends the incorrect message to the other guys I picked.
“We’re in a fortunate position that we’re able to leave someone out of Stuart’s quality and I thought the interview that he gave the other day was fantastic, the passion he showed.
“I’d actually be worried sick if that he didn’t show that passion towards perhaps not being selected. Someone who’s played that numerous Test matches and got that many wickets – to still note that desire and emotion is fantastic as a senior player in this team.
England vs W Indies
July 16, 2020, 10:30am
“He’s nowhere near done and, if he plays in the second Test match, I really hope he walks off that field with a bit of an ‘up you’.”
A significant element in England’s defeat at Southampton was the failure of the batting line-up, who posted 204 inside their first innings after Stokes had won the toss.
Although Stokes and Zak Crawley shared a stand of 98 2nd time around to boost their hopes of setting a stiff target, England then suffered a middle-order collapse as five wickets fell for 30 runs on the fourth evening.
However, the stand-in captain also defended his choice to just take first knock, adding: “I’ll stand by your choice I built to bat first.
“We’ve got to be good enough to place first-innings works on the board, that’s what we base our cricket around. If we elect to bat, we realize we’ve got to go out and put 400-500 on the board.
“Ideally we’d have liked to have got more runs in the initial innings. We got ourselves in positions to really kick on and the same whenever we batted again.
“Unfortunately we just weren’t ruthless enough to go on and make our batting count. We didn’t grasp the game like we should have done – it’s been a massive learning curve for a lot of our batting line-up and great for the young guys as well.”
Both teams have just three days to regroup for the second Test, which begins at Old Trafford on Thursday, survive Sky Sports Cricket.
Despite the results, Stokes felt his first experience of Test captaincy have been a positive one – even though he will hand the reins back to Root at Manchester.
“I’ve absolutely loved it,” he said. “But this is Joe’s team, he’s the captain and I’m really looking forward to welcoming him back.”
Watch day one of many second #raisethebat Test survive Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30am on Thursday.