After going 1-0 down in a three-match series, England made a bold decision to rest their veteran pacer James Anderson for the second Test at Old Trafford.
While it was Stuart Broad, who missed the first Test and Anderson got a nod, this time it was reversed, thereby ruling out the proposition of watching these two pacers bowl in tandem, as they have done for most of their career.
Both Broad and Anderson have more than 1000 wickets between them, and they are still the most reliable and consistent bowlers for England. It’s only natural that any decision to overlook any of them will be met with some severe scrutiny and even backlashes.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has expressed his disappointment with selectors for resting Anderson in what is a must-win match for England.
“One thing they need to do after naming a 13-man squad is not get cute with selection again,” Nasser wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“Sometimes the current panel overcomplicates it and gets too smart, but all it should come down to is picking your best 11 players. I didn’t turn up to too many matches against West Indies to find Courtney Walsh or Curtly Ambrose left out.”
The former skipper reminded the readers about Broad’s incredible exploits in the Ashes last year and Anderson’s consistency from the last five year.
“I have no hesitation in putting Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in the same company. After all, they have almost 1,100 wickets between them. Yes, if those two were past their best then move them on, but Anderson has produced some of the best numbers in his career over the last five years and Broad was England’s leading wicket-taker in the Ashes last year and in South Africa,” he added.
“It is a unique situation this summer, with six Tests virtually back-to-back, and of course there will be a need for England to rotate. But if the big two are fit and ready to go then they should have both played at Old Trafford,” Nasser concluded.