England have announced their touring party for the forthcoming test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean. There are two notable omissions in the shape of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.
To leave out both seems a real gamble by England, or could this be the way forward for a new England test side. Anderson aged 39 is England’s leading wicket taker with 640 wickets. His partner in crime Broad has picked up 537 wickets. The combined total of 1,177 test wickets is an outstanding achievement by the pair.
To build up momentum, you need your experienced players to play
Surely England would go into this forthcoming series with your best and most experienced fast bowlers. To not take both Anderson and Broad seems a strange call in my opinion.
Some would argue that England are up against a very average West Indian test side and Broad and Anderson need a rest. Remember however back in the Ashes a short time ago when England foolishly left out both Jimmy and Stuart for the opening Ashes test.
No Broad and Anderson in opening Ashes test proved fatal
This decision proved fatal, which set the tone for a very disappointing series. If you are up against the West Indies or any other test playing nation, you should at least play one of your trump cards, not none.
Sir Andrew Strauss has gone on record to point out that this isn’t the end for the great pair. One would sincerely hope not as the cupboard looks bare of any other experienced quick bowlers.
Falling the heavy defeat to Australia down under, there are no less than eight players dropped after being involved in the Ashes. Jos Buttler, Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Sam Billings and Dom Bess all miss out.
Foakes back in the fold
Back into the fold- and a very welcome return- is wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. The Surrey gloveman returns back into the set up, but for how long. The best keeper in the game by a country mile, should never have been dropped after scoring a hundred in Sri Lanka in 2018.
Durham opener Alex Lees looks set for a test debut in the Caribbean, as one of only two openers. Surrey’s Ollie Pope is named in the side after a hugely disappointing Ashes campaign which yielded an average of 11 from six innings.
Young and inexperienced bowling line up
The fast-bowling unit will consist of Mark Wood, Saqib Mahmood, Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton. The spin department will be headed by Somerset’s Jack Leach and Lancashire leg spinner Matt Parkinson.
There is also a welcome recall for the promising Essex batsman Dan Lawrence. The three-test series gets underway on Tuesday 8th March at Antigua, as England look to improve on their miserable test record in the Caribbean. Just one series win against the West Indies since 1968.