Ashes: What’s the point of Anderson, Broad in squad if they don’t play, asks Boycott
London : Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has asked what is the logic of having James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the Ashes squad if they don’t play in the second Test at Adelaide. He added that the duo should play if they are fit as they have been tremendous performers for England.Anderson and Broad, with 1156 wickets overall, were absent from the playing eleven in the first Test at Brisbane, which England lost by nine wickets.”If both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad don’t play (in the second Test) then what is the point of them being in the squad? The captain and coach keep telling us how good they are and how many wickets they have taken. I agree they have been magnificent for England with outstanding performances so if they are fit they have to play,” wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph on Sunday.”If they keep getting injured then they are a luxury England can’t afford. One is 39 and the other 35. Keeping them in the squad out of sentiment on big-money salary is madness. Either they play or move on without them,” added Boycott, who played 108 Tests for England.
Boycott has some sympathy for left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who conceded 102 runs for just a wicket of Marnus Labuschagne.”Jack Leach hadn’t played a Test match for nine months since early March in India. He didn’t get a game during the English summer as England played lots of seamers — and then suddenly they expected Jack to bowl well in Brisbane. No wonder the Aussies went after him and in 13 overs he was whacked for 102 runs. I felt for the lad. Not his fault.”The 81-year-old felt that all-rounder Ben Stokes has to get more matches under his belt as his manner of dismissals showed be was not in great touch. Stokes returned to cricketing action after last playing a match in July, post which he took a break to focus on mental well-being and to heal from finger injury.On his return, Stokes had scores of 5 and 14 in both innings with the bat while giving away 65 runs in 12 overs in the first innings, including 14 no-balls, out of which one was detected when he bowled David Warner on 17. He also had injury scares while bowling.”Ben Stokes needed to play more cricket. He is not a messiah. He can’t bat and bowl for everyone. Ben hasn’t played for five months, had a finger operation and rain ruined his practice. Then his first knock was on a testing pitch against, in my view, the two best seam bowlers in the world — Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.”That would be tough for any batsman in good form. Too many players expected some magic from our talismanic all-rounder. His second-innings dismissal showed his lack of cricket as he got in a tangle with a bit of bounce. In good nick there is every chance he would have played it differently,” concluded Boycott.