Stuart Broad, James Anderson primed for second Test

Stuart Broad, James Anderson primed for second Test

News

Silverwood says seam duo are “fit and ready to go” ahead of Adelaide’s pink-ball fixture

Stuart Broad and James Anderson are in line for selection in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, with England head coach Chris Silverwood declaring that the pair are “fit and ready to go”.

The omission of the vastly experienced seam-bowling duo from the series opener at the Gabba raised eyebrows even before Australia romped to a nine-wicket victory inside four days, and selection was a predictable focus of the post-match wash-up.

And while he did not confirm any selections for the day-night Test starting on Thursday, Silverwood backed Broad’s assertion earlier in the day that they would be well prepared, having started training with the pink ball in the Brisbane nets as soon as their omission from the first Test was apparent.

“Jimmy will be fit and ready to go for the second Test, as will Stuart,” Silverwood said on Sunday ahead of the team’s planned departure from Brisbane on Monday. “They are available. Certainly, from an experience point of view, with the bowlers we’ve got heaps of experience so I’m happy with that.

“The guys have already been training with the pink ball behind the scenes. And what we have got is a very skilful set of bowlers. We have talent and we still have two of the best up our sleeve as well.”

The decision to leave Anderson out of the first Test emerged on the eve of the match, with the ECB saying it was not injury related but aimed at managing him ahead of the day-night fixture in Adelaide. Broad’s omission was more of a surprise on match-day morning when England opted for spinner Jack Leach instead, a call which came in for more criticism after Leach’s return of 1 for 102 in 13 overs.

Broad, who hasn’t played since tearing his calf in August, wrote in his Mail On Sunday column that he believed he would only have been chosen in a five-man seam attack at the Gabba. While disappointed, he believed it would be inappropriate to “kick up a stink” over his non-selection, having publicly questioned his omission for the first Test against West Indies in Southampton in July 2020.

“Stuart has been great, to be honest,” Silverwood said. “Obviously he was disappointed not to be playing but he understood that this is a long series.

“Everybody will put their hand up to do the hard work out there and he is ready to do that now. We had good conversations with Stuart before any decisions were made and he was 100 per cent on board.

“I’ve not told anyone they are playing yet. We will have some sore bodies from this Test and we’ll make decisions from there.”

Australia also have some decisions to make at the selection table with Josh Hazlewood flying to Sydney nursing a side strain, although Cricket Australia have said he hasn’t been ruled out of the Adelaide Test yet. David Warner is also being monitored for a rib injury after being struck by a Ben Stokes short ball in Brisbane.

Silverwood said his team were looking ahead, rather than dwelling on their disappointing showing in the first Test, which was characterised by twin batting collapses and some sloppy fielding.

“We had a good chat in the dressing-room after,” he said. “There are obvious areas we need to improve on, such as holding our catches and building big partnerships.

“Obviously they were hurting, but there is belief they can win this series. We have been in this position before. We have gone 1-0 down and then bounced back. We have the players here that can match the Australians. The confidence is there that we can compete with Australia, and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”