Former England fast bowler Darren Gough has said he was surprised to see pace spearhead Stuart Broad sit out of the first Test of the three-match #raisethebat series against West Indies which started at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
The hosts opted for Mark Wood in place of Broad, alongside veteran James Anderson and pace sensation Jofra Archer for the series opener.
The last time Broad missed a Test on home soil was also against West Indies during the 2012 series at Edgbaston.
“(I am) really surprised,” said Gough on Sky Sports podcast The Cricket Debate, regarding Broad’s absence from the playing XI.
“Because when you talk about sticking with players, I thought with the Broad situation, he has stood up and been counted for England over the past few years, when Jimmy (Anderson) has been limping out of games with injury.
“I would’ve played both Broad and Anderson in this game – I think they deserved that respect – and then I would’ve gone for one of Wood or Archer.
“In typical English conditions, the way I would’ve done it is, rotated Anderson, Broad and (Chris) Woakes – always two out of the three – and then have one of Wood or Archer,” he added.
England bowlers, however, will have to wait for their chance to showcase their skills in the Test as the opening day was marred by rain and saw only 17.4 overs to be bowled.
England’s score at the end of day’s play read 35/1 with Rory Burns (20*) and Joe Denly (14*) holding the fort for the hosts. Shannon Gabriel was the only wicket-taker for Windies on the day as he castled Dominic Sibley for a duck.