Star Australian batter Steve Smith on Monday said England pacer Stuart Broad’s limited role in the ongoing Ashes series has left even the home team ‘surprised’. Broad, who has snared 526 Test wickets for England in 150 games, only featured in the Adelaide match, missing out on the opening and Boxing Day Tests. (More Cricket News)
“We have been a bit surprised. Two wickets that would have suited him pretty well,” Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “He bowled well in Adelaide. He’s always been a good contest for me. He’s got me out quite few times, I’ve scored some runs off him so it’s been a decent battle,” Smith added.
While Broad is in line to bowl in tandem with fellow veteran pacer James Anderson in the Pink Test, starting here on Wednesday, England will only be fighting to avoid a whitewash as hosts Australia have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
“They’ve got quality bowlers. Him and Jimmy (Anderson) together are two world-class performers, they have been for a long time. Maybe we’ll see them out here together this week, I’m not sure,” Smith added.
Smith's comments come a few days after teammate David Warner, who struggled against Broad in England in 2019, said “from our perspective, I think it’s great he is not playing,” after the MCG Test. The southpaw has been dismissed by Broad a remarkable seven times in five Tests in 2019.
England's selection in the series has cropped up sharp criticism with questions also being raised over skipper Joe Root's leadership and head coach Chris Silverwood, who is also responsible for selecting the squads.
While Anderson and Broad were rested on a bowler-friendly pitch in Brisbane, fellow quick Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach were dropped from the Adelaide Test where the pitch aided spinners. Down 0-2, four changes were made for the Boxing Day Test but to no avail as England succumbed to an embarrassing innings and 14-run loss inside three days at the MCG.