Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Broad, Anderson dropped but will be in the mix for home summer: Strauss. It's not the end of the road for either Anderson or Broad, Strauss insisted
It's not the end of the road for either Anderson or Broad, Strauss insisted
Andrew Strauss, England's interim director of men's cricket, says that James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been dropped for England's upcoming series in the Caribbean in order to provide opportunities for different players but he expects both of them to be in the selection mix during the home summer.
The decision to leave out the experienced duo was the most striking decision Strauss and the selection panel made when deciding on the 16-man squad for the three Tests against West Indies next month. At a press conference at Lord's on Wednesday (February 9), Strauss said the interim management were taking the opportunity to create a different feel to the Test team's environment after a disappointing 12 months but confirmed he had received no indication from either Anderson or Broad that they were going to retire from international cricket.
“Just to set out the frame from which we are looking at this tour,” Strauss said. “The truth is the England team has underperformed for a period of time, and the batting in particular hasn't been at a level that allows you to win matches consistently. That's one thing we are considering.
“Secondly, if you want to be the best team in the world – and that seems a long way off right at the moment – you have to win away from home. I think we've won four out of our last 13 series away from home, so we need to identify ways of competing and winning away from home. And obviously taking 20 wickets is a part of that.
“The third element is it's the start of a new cycle, so it's an opportunity to refresh, take a step back, have a bit of a reset and create a slightly different feel to that environment.
“With that frame in mind, we felt like we needed to make some changes to the top of the order in the batting department, obviously the wicketkeeper is a big change as well, and of course with Broad and Anderson that's an opportunity to get some good young talent into the environment for the first time. To allow some of the bowlers that have been playing a role in the team to play either a slightly different role or a senior leadership role.
“When the new [full-time] director of cricket and coach are appointed, hopefully they'll have more information to base their decisions going forward on what's our best bowling attack. I fully expect both Stuart Broad and Anderson will be in the selection mix-up for the start of the summer.”
Strauss said the selection panel, which also included interim head coach Paul Collingwood and James Taylor, were trying to balance the need to improve England's run of one victory in their last 14 matches while also looking ahead to the future and believed now was the right time to “reset” at the “start of the new cycle”. He said: “I've been to the West Indies a number of times and it's not an easy place to go and win and England's record there is not good. We definitely have to take that into account.
“When you're selecting teams you're always trying to balance winning today with winning tomorrow, and you're trying to do both quite frankly. We feel like we've selected a team that is capable of winning out in the West Indies and that is absolutely the intention. But of course we've got half an eye on tomorrow – it's the start of the new cycle and it would be remiss of us not to do it.”
Strauss refuted suggestions that Joe Root has found Anderson and Broad, two experienced players and forthright characters, difficult to manage during his captaincy. “Not something that can be levelled at Broad and Anderson,” Strauss said. “Teams always need a number of influential voices to push the team forward. Everyone expects the captain to do that but anyone who has played for England knows that influential voices behind the captain are important.
“I don't see it as an issue to be ‘dealt with'. I think that's very harsh on James Anderson and Stuart Broad. They've given everything to England cricket over a long period of time. I just feel like this is a moment when we had an opportunity to start projecting forward, especially with a view to winning away from home, and they'll be in the mix for selection come the start of the summer.
“The new director of cricket and coach, they will have their own strategic ideas and that's absolutely right for them to go in the direction they feel is fit. What I'm trying to do is just create options for them. In the bowling attack, we are looking at the likes of [Mark] Wood and [Chris] Woakes to play more of that role. Expect a lot from [Ben] Stokes and [Jonny] Bairstow as well. They have the chance to pull out the stops and help Joe Root.”
Strauss also confirmed that Root had stated his desire to return to the number three position in the batting order despite just having his best ever year from number four. “He wants to take responsibility and he's done that consistently with the bat over the last 18 months or so, over his entire career really,” Strauss said. “And he recognises that, if the top order don't lay the foundations it makes it very difficult for those coming in in the middle order, and he can help us with that. That was his request, came completely from him at the start of the meeting, and we all agreed it was a good opportunity for the team.”
The omission of Jos Buttler from the squad – with Ben Foakes selected as first-choice keeper – was a form decision, according to Strauss, rather than related to the finger injury which ended Buttler's Ashes tour early. “Jos has struggled a little bit with performance over the last 12 months or so and we've got a keeper/batter waiting in the wings who I think is widely acknowledged as the or one of the best keepers in the world and a very good batsman in his own right,” Strauss said. “His [Foakes'] record suggests that both for England and for Surrey. He's waited patiently in the wings and he fully deserves his chance.”