Senior England pacer Stuart Broad might be dropped from the playing XI for the first Test against West Indies starting Wednesday with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood being tipped to partner James Anderson.
According to a report in ‘The Guardian, “Broad faces the prospect of missing a first home Test match in eight years as England give serious consideration to unleashing the dual pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the earliest opportunity.”
Both Wood and Archer have had their injury issues but are now match fit. Wood, who had suffered a stress fracture during England’s tour of South Africa is now good to go.
With only one spinner in offie Dom Bess, Broad’s place in the playing XI has come under doubt.
“With no spare batsman in this final group for Wednesday and one spinner, Dom Bess, it leaves the make-up of the seam attack as the only issue still to be debated by Chris Silverwood, the head coach, and Ben Stokes, his stand-in captain,” the paper reported.
Even Chris Woakes despite his good show in the intra-squad warm-up game is likely to miss out in the Ageas Bowl game.
Broad last missed a home Test when he was rested against West Indies in 2012 and with 485 Test scalps is only second to Anderson in terms of highest wicket-takers for England.
England head coach Silverwood and stand-in captain Stokes, however, might go for Wood, who is known to bowl at 90 miles per hour.
However with six back-to-back Tests against the Windies and Pakistan, the rotation policy could be used to keep the paces fresh.
“Three back-to-back Tests against West Indies, followed by three more in quick succession versus Pakistan in August, make rotation inevitable this summer and mean the seamers who miss out first up may not be on the sidelines for long,” the paper reported.
England squad: Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.