England v West Indies Tests - Men's
'Angry, frustrated': Broad opens up on Test axing
Ashes star says his exclusion for Windies Test was a "hard decision to understand" but vowed to return with a vengeance
10 July 2020, 09:21 PM AEST
Stuart Broad has candidly opened up on his anger at being dropped for England's opening Test against West Indies and vowed to prove selectors wrong when he next gets his hands on the ball.
Fill-in captain Ben Stokes told England's second all-time leading Test wicket-taker on the eve of the series opener that they had decided to prioritise pace and partner spearhead James Anderson with speedsters Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Broad has since been reassured by selection chief Ed Smith that he remains firmly in their plans for the rest of the three-Test home series against the Windies.
However, that did little to dampen the frustration of the 34-year-old, who questioned his axing despite insisting those picked ahead of him deserved their spots.
"I'm not a particularly emotional person but I've found the last couple of days quite tough," Broad told Sky Sports before play on day three in Southampton.
"To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. You get disappointed when you drop your phone and break your screen. I've been frustrated, angry, gutted because it's a hard decision to understand.
"I've probably bowled the best I ever have in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt (to lose), having been in the team in the Ashes and then going to South Africa and winning there.
"But we were also in quite a unique position this summer. Very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit and ready to go."
With Anderson sidelined during last year's Ashes, Broad had a superb campaign against Australia and in particular tormented opener David Warner by dismissing him seven times in 10 innings.
After finishing that series as England's leading wicket taker with 23 victims, he then led the attack again in their series win in South Africa earlier this year, taking 14 victims at an average of 19.
With Chris Woakes and Sam Curran also missing out at the Ageas Bowl, Broad conceded he was a victim of a rare occasion when England had all their fast bowlers fit at the same time.
"The chairman of selectors made it clear they're picking pitch for pitch," he said. "The decision to go with extra pace on this pitch was based on … this pitch.
"You can't argue that the bowlers walking onto that field don't deserve to play. It's just annoying when it's not you in that XI. It's great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks.
"It's the only way England cricket moves forward and gets better."
But if handed his spot back at Old Trafford, where the second and third Tests against the Windies will be played, Broad vowed to show the selectors had made been wrong to drop him.
"I'm quite pleased I feel frustrated and gutted and angry, because if I didn't I'd have a different decision to make," said Broad, who is 15 wickets away from becoming the second Englishman (after Anderson) to 500 Test scalps.
"I don't think I've got anything to prove.
"England know what I can do, the selectors know what I can do and you can bet that when I get that opportunity again, you can bet I will be on the money."