West Indies middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner insists the approach toward England will be the same despite the visitors missing two of their most experienced fast bowlers in Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

The duo was unexpectedly dropped for the tour of the Caribbean, albeit being England’s leading wicket-takers. Since 2004, Anderson has played 22 matches against the West Indies and taken 87 wickets, the most by any England player, 36 of those wickets have come in 10 matches in the Caribbean.  His best figures of 7 for 49 also came against the West Indies in 2017.

 Broad, who first featured against the West Indies in 2009, has gone on to take 73 wickets.  Despite the absence of the two dominant bowlers that have wreaked havoc in the team's batting line-up over the years, however, Bonner insists the team’s mental approach will not be different as the English still have plenty of firepower.

“It’s a Test match nevertheless, whether Anderson or Broad are playing.  Obviously, they still have quality bowlers and the same application is required,” Bonner told members of the media on Saturday.

“In every series, it’s the same approach and this one will be no different,” he added.

Bonner insists he is looking forward to the challenge of facing England.

“After coming from India, I played some four-day games in Barbados.  I was able to spend some time at the crease and obviously coming into this camp I’ve done a lot of hard work as well, and I’m looking forward to playing against England.  It will be an important series for us.”

 

 

England captain Joe Root believes there is still a way back for Stuart Broad and James Anderson, and admitted that he is grateful to have maintained his own position after a dire Ashes series.

Anderson and Broad have been outspoken about their omissions from the squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, with the latter also criticising the fact that he was only informed of the decision via a brief phone call with Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

Strauss selected the 16-man squad along with interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor, after a 4-0 Ashes defeat led to the departure of England head coach Chris Silverwood.

Despite seeing his experienced team-mates dropped, Root claimed there could be a way back into the fold for the duo.

"I've spoken both to Stuart and Jimmy and they're obviously disappointed and angry. Stuart in particular has voiced that quite publicly," Root said, as reported via The Telegraph.

"You'd expect that. I've got a huge amount of respect for both of them. It's been made very clear, no one is saying this is the end for them. 

"If we're in a position where [Broad and Anderson] can come back into this team, then great, that's only going to strengthen things. No-one's been told that it's the end of the road."

Anderson and Broad have taken a combined 1,177 Test wickets, ranking as the country's two most prolific bowlers of all time in the longest format.

With a number of regulars, such as Jos Buttler and Rory Burns, missing the Windies tour, Root acknowledged he was thankful to keep his place, though he has never lost faith in his own ability.

Indeed, despite England's poor display as a team Down Under, Root enjoyed a stellar 2021, scoring 1,708 runs across 29 Test innings.

 

"It's never nice when you see people that you've worked closely with for a long period of time lose their jobs," Root continued.

"Clearly it was a disappointing tour [in Australia] and we massively underperformed. As Straussy mentioned, [we need] a bit of a reset, and a real chance to take things forward. I'm very grateful that I've got the opportunity to do that as captain.

"It's a real opportunity that we've got to take with both hands. It's obviously a very new-looking squad, and it's a real chance for the guys to step up and really take the chances that are presented to them – me included.

"I didn't waver. I'm very passionate about trying to take this team forward. I'm grateful I've got that opportunity, I really am."

Root posted a batting average of just 32.2 throughout England's third consecutive series defeat in Australia, well down on his career Test average of 49.23, but will now attempt bounce back by leading England to just their second series win in the Caribbean since 1968.

James Anderson insists he still has "a lot left to offer" after speaking for the first time since being surprisingly left out of England's squad for the upcoming Test series against West Indies, from which Stuart Broad is also absent.

Both have been left out of the squad for next month's tour after a dismal Ashes series led to the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss – who replaced the outgoing Ashley Giles – as well as interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor made up a three-man selection committee ahead of the series, which begins in Antigua on March 8.

Strauss insists there remains a way back for both bowlers, who have taken 1,177 Test wickets between them.

However, Anderson – who turns 40 in July – said on the Tailenders podcast: "I'm praying this isn't the end.

"But if I never play for England again, I know I've got amazing people around me to support me and that's really important."

He confirmed his intention to perform for Lancashire when the County Championship starts in April, with the aim of working his way back into England reckoning.

"I've got one more go at digging deep," Anderson added. "I've got a lot left to offer – I've still got the hunger and passion to play.

"It was a shock and a disappointment to get that call but having processed it, it's important I try to focus on stuff I can control and that's showing people what I can do with the ball in my hand."

Anderson is England's record Test wicket-taker with 640 to his name in 169 matches at an average of 26.58, and has taken five wickets in an innings 31 times, more than any other England bowler.

 

Broad had previously hit out at his own omission, writing in the Daily Mail earlier this month: "I am waking up more confused and angrier with each passing day. I feel gutted. 

"Do I need to prove myself again? In my mind, I've nothing to prove. I am a proven performer, so it is now about the English cricketing summer and targeting the home series against New Zealand in June."

Mark Wood was shocked by England's decision to leave James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of next month's Test series with West Indies. 

England head to the Caribbean next week for the three-Test series against the Windies, with the opening match to be contested in Antigua from March 8. 

Joe Root's side then head to Barbados for the second Test (March 16-20) before concluding the series in Grenada (March 24-28). 

The tourists are looking to respond after their recent comprehensive 4-0 defeat by Australia in the Ashes. 

Wood was one of the few players to emerge with any credibility from the chastening tour, taking 17 wickets along the way and registering an impressive 6-37 during the final Test. 

The second-most experienced seamer in the squad with 25 caps after Chris Woakes (42), he is set to embark on his first tour without Anderson and Broad, who were left out by the selection panel. 

Wood admits it will be strange but knows the duo will be on hand to support the squad if required. 

"I was shocked [when they were left out]," he said. "I didn't see it coming at all.  

"It will be weird those two not being on tour; a first for me. Even when injured, they normally stay in the group. 

"But I know they'll be there on text if I need advice. And if they see something, they'd message too.  

"They're England fans, I know they've been there a long time, but they still just want England to win, and I'm 100 per cent sure they'll be back." 

Stuart Broad has hit out at his omission from England's squad for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, from which James Anderson is also absent.

England's all-time leading Test wicket-takers Broad and Anderson have been left out of the squad for next month's tour after a dismal Ashes series led to the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss, interim coach Paul Collingwood, and head scout James Taylor made up a three-man selection committee ahead of the series, which begins in Antigua on March 8, and have settled on a 16-man squad that does not include either of the seamers.

Despite Strauss contending that there was a way back for both bowlers, who have taken 1,177 Test wickets between them, Broad has used his newspaper column to hit out at the decision.

"I have to confess that I wasn't expecting the phone call I received from Andrew Strauss on Tuesday that started with him saying: 'I've got some bad news'," Broad wrote in the Daily Mail.

"I am waking up more confused and angrier with each passing day. I feel gutted. 

"Do I need to prove myself again? In my mind, I've nothing to prove. I am a proven performer, so it is now about the English cricketing summer and targeting the home series against New Zealand in June."

 

The 35-year-old pace bowler, whose tally of 73 career Test wickets against the West Indies is only beaten by Anderson's 87 amongst active players, also moved to defend his recent England performances and denied that any behind-the-scenes unrest had contributed to the decision.

"I could take being dropped if I had let my standards slip but being overlooked when they haven't is another thing," Broad's column continued.

"I am struggling to put things into context. It's hard to do so when all you've had is a five-minute phone call.

"If I had spoken to one person who had said they agreed with the decision to leave myself and Jimmy out, I could perhaps begin to understand. 

"Do I believe I warrant a place in England's best team? Of course, I do.

"People will ask if there has therefore been some fall-out behind the scenes, a bit of a rumble during the Ashes, but I can categorically say that is not the case. Hence, neither Jimmy nor I saw this coming. We were blindsided."

England's last series win in the West Indies came back in 2003-04.

Andrew Strauss called for England's bowlers to step up after the omission of James Anderson and Stuart Broad against the West Indies but suggested the pair could feature later in the year.

England's interim managing director Strauss, interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor made up the three-man selection panel for the series, which starts in Antigua on March 8, and opted for a host of changes to the side.

Joe Root will once again lead his country, despite a 4-0 Ashes hammering by Australia in December and January, with Collingwood acting as interim coach following the departure of Chris Silverwood.

Anderson and Broad, who have managed 1,177 wickets in 321 Tests between them, were the most notable names left out of the touring party for the three-Test series in the Caribbean.

Lancashire pair Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson, along with Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher, were all included as the trio eye red-ball international debuts.

Strauss challenged the bowlers of the new-look squad to deliver in the absence of their evergreen stars, insisting that both the fresh faces and the more experienced players – such as Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes – must step up.

"This is an opportunity to refresh and look forward," Strauss told BBC Sport in an interview published on Wednesday. "We've brought some new blood into the bowling resources. 

"But we're also asking some of our existing bowlers to play a slightly different role to the one they've played before and show a bit more leadership."

 

Strauss reiterated the omission of Broad and Anderson does not signal the end for the duo, while he denied the pair's stature could be intimidating to captain Root and his younger players.

"They've earned the right to have that stature," he added.

"But we also have to think that there is life beyond them as well and we need to develop some of the other bowlers and allow them to play more of a leadership role, rather than just a followership role.

"No-one is saying Broad and Anderson won't feature this summer and beyond.

"My job is to give the new director of cricket and coach options from which to pick and we can learn more about the options we do have on this tour.

"The new coach and director of cricket will look at selection for the summer and Broad and Anderson will be very much in the mix."

Former opener Strauss also confirmed that Root will come in at number three, while the uncapped Durham batter Alex Lees will partner Zak Crawley at the top of the order amid England's ongoing battle problems.

"A lot of our batting problems have come at the top of the order," Strauss continued.

"Alex Lees comes in as a mature cricketer who knows his game well and it's an opportunity for him to stake his claim with Zak Crawley.

"Joe Root has said very categorically that he wants to bat at three and take that responsibility on.

"That's quite a fundamental shift in itself and creates a bit of space in the middle order for some of the less experienced players to play better and more consistently."

England have left out their all-time leading wicket-takers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for the upcoming Test series against West Indies.

In the wake of head coach Chris Silverwood departing after a dismal Ashes series, England will be led in the Caribbean by captain Joe Root and interim coach Paul Collingwood.

There has been a push to freshen up their red-ball squad for the three-match tussle, starting in Antigua on March 8, and that has meant Anderson and Broad losing their places.

The selection panel, consisting of interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss, Collingwood and head scout James Taylor, named a 16-man squad on Tuesday.

As well as Broad and Anderson, six other players who featured in Australia have been left out: Dom Bess, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan and openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, who both endured poor stints Down Under.

Strauss contended this was by no means definitely the end of the road in Tests for Broad, 35, or Anderson, who turns 40 in July. Between them, the pair have taken 1,177 wickets in 321 Tests.

 

"In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players," said Strauss, who captained both seamers during his playing career.

"We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously.

"No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond."

However, Strauss also explained that England are looking to "start a new cycle" after a run of poor results in the longest format.

"We felt that it was time to draw a line after the Ashes defeat, look forward and give some impetus with an influx of new players," he said.

"This selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now."

Durham opener Alex Lees and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher have earned maiden call-ups, while Lancashire's Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson will be aiming to make their Test debuts.

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has also been included in Buttler's absence, having not featured since playing against India in March 2021.

England squad:

Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Matthew Fisher, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Australia's Travis Head struck a century to punish England on a rain-affected opening day of the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

The hosts, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead, finished Friday on 241-6 having earlier been reduced to 12-3 by an England side who won the toss and chose to bowl first.

England showed five changes from last week's drawn fourth Test in Sydney, including a debut for Sam Billings, and started in an impressive manner.

David Warner (0), Usman Khawaja (6) and Steve Smith (0) all went by the start of the 10th over, while Marnus Labuschagne would have followed had Zak Crawley not fumbled.

That may well prove a decisive moment in the final Test as Labuschagne and Head launched a counter-attack by scoring 53 runs from the next seven overs.

But on 71 from 72 balls, Labuschagne comically wrong-footed himself when attacking a Stuart Broad delivery and could only watch from the floor as Australia lost another wicket.

England lost bowler Ollie Robinson to injury and their problems were compounded by the work of Head, who continued to rack up the runs when joined by Cameron Green.

Head survived a big scare on his way to reaching 101 from 113 balls, but his day was ended after he chipped a Chris Woakes delivery to Robinson at mid-on.

Green got to 74 before holing out at deep mid-wicket and only nine more balls were bowled due to rain, with Mitch Starc (0) and Alex Carey (10) to resume play on Saturday.

Travis keeps his Head after Crawley loses his

England could not have asked for a much better start on the green surface, with Robinson and Broad dismantling Australia's top order by dismissing Warner and Smith for ducks.

But Crawley's drop of Labuschagne, combined with England's wayward bowling from that point on, allowed Head – recently sidelined due to COVID-19 isolation – to grab the fifth Test by the scruff of the neck.

He went past the 100 mark, becoming the seventh Australian to do so in a day/night men's Test innings after Warner, Labuschagne, Khawaja, Smith, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb.

Green shoots of recovery

Australia all-rounder Green had a maiden hundred in his sights, only to fall to Mark Wood's short-ball trap 16 runs shot of three figures.

At 22 years and 225 days, he is the youngest player to score 50 or more runs in a men's Test innings for Australia at Bellerive Oval and the fourth youngest overall at the ground.

Stuart Broad believes he has "a lot to offer" the England Test side after he claimed a five-wicket haul against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Broad took 5-101 on day two of the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG, where Australia declared on 416-8 and the tourists were 13 without loss at stumps.

Paceman Broad was surprisingly left out for England's defeat in the first match of the series at the Gabba before also being omitted for another heavy loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 35-year-old expressed his frustration at only being selected for the day-night contest at the Adelaide Oval before being restored to the team in Sydney this week.

Broad let his undoubted ability with the ball do the talking by taking five wickets in a Test innings for the 19th time and an eight in the Ashes.

The vastly experienced quick is confident there is more to come.

"I still feel like I have a lot to offer this team," he told BT Sport.

"Whether that is playing week in, week out like I did when I was 26, 27, maybe not. But I'm old and experienced enough to know how to bowl on different pitches and how to get myself ready and right when the chances come.

"I think when you haven't been playing, particularly at 35 years old, you realise how special it is. I've had points in my career where I've felt like I've always been playing.

"That's not happened in 2021 and it's my job to make that happen in 2022."

Usman Khawaja scored his ninth Test century after being recalled by Australia for the first time in more than two years as the hosts took control against England in the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia declared at 416-8 late in the final session on day two at the SCG, in an innings headlined by Khawaja's 137, where he batted for almost seven hours and hit 13 boundaries.

Khawaja reached his second Ashes hundred after being given a life on 28 when an edge off Jack Leach grazed Jos Buttler and was dropped by Joe Root at first slip.

England's openers survived five overs late in the day to be 13-0 at stumps, with Zak Crawley given a reprieve for a no-ball after being caught at first slip by David Warner off Mitchell Starc for a duck.

Australia, though, took a major advantage in the Sydney Test having resumed at 126-3 after a rain-interrupted opening day, with Steve Smith and Khawaja putting together a 115-run fourth-wicket stand.

Stuart Broad was the pick of the English attack, claiming the first five-wicket haul for the visitors this series with figures of 5-101.

England's hopes of making inroads into the Australian batting line-up were not helped by Ben Stokes limping off with left side tightness. He later returned to field but did not bowl.

Broad had Smith caught by Buttler for 67 shortly after taking the new ball, representing the ninth time the English paceman has dismissed the Australian vice-captain at Test level.

The headband-wearing 35-year-old paceman also claimed the wickets of Cameron Green (5), Pat Cummins (24) and Khawaja, who played on to a leg-cutter.

Starc got lucky with a series of reviews in his batting cameo with 34 not out before Australia declared, getting five overs late at the tourists who got through with Crawley and Haseeb Hameed at the crease.

Broad justifies his recall

Broad's five-wicket haul was his sixth against Australia and a 19th across his decorated career, where he has taken 531 Test dismissals.

The 35-year-old right-arm paceman had been left out for two Tests earlier in this series and justified his recall emphatically.

Khawaja stars upon return

Khawaja had not played for Australia at Test level since August 2019 in the Ashes but managed his second century against England, having earned a recall after back-to-back hundreds for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield. Khawaja reached triple figures shortly prior to tea.

David Warner insists he relishes his Ashes battles with Stuart Broad despite being dismissed by the England bowler for the 13th time in Test cricket.

The Australia batter, who has twice come close to a century amid a dominant series for the hosts, was removed for 30 by the returning Broad on day one of the fourth Test.

Australia, who lead 3-0, closed on 126-3 at the SCG after only 46.5 overs of play were possible due to rain.

Broad had been left out of two of the first three matches and this week expressed his frustration over England's failure given he has "not really done anything" and missed the chance to play on favourable pitches.

Another veteran England bowler, James Anderson, who missed the first Test earlier in the series, also struck on Wednesday, removing Marcus Harris for 38.

And Warner suggested Australia are glad to be up against two of the world's top bowlers.

"I really enjoy giving you guys a good story, which is fantastic and it builds up the game," Warner said of his duels with Broad, who had him caught by Zak Crawley.

"Me and Broady love it when we're out there. It's good fun, good funny banter. 

"I tried to drive the ball too straight, that was my disappointment, but it's awesome to see Broady back out there.

"He's a world-class bowler. Him and Jimmy Anderson bowling at us is great. 

"Obviously, they would have been disappointed with some of these Test matches, not playing together, but that's for their selection panel. 

"It's great to come up against the world's best from England."

Mark Wood removed Marnus Labuschagne (28) before the close as Australia struggled to build on a strong start that had seen them reach 111-1.

It means Steve Smith (6 not out) and Usman Khawaja (4no) will be under pressure when they return to the crease on Thursday.

England are looking to avoid a 5-0 whitewash, a fate they have suffered twice in Australia since the turn of the century.

Amid their struggles, former England batsman Rob Key cannot comprehend why Broad has not been a regular.

He told Sky Sports: "You absolutely have bogey bowlers. I had about 18!

"For David Warner, it is Broad - which makes it even more ridiculous that Broad did not play that first Test in Brisbane. 

"Warner would have been sat there thinking, 'I could really do without facing this bloke'.

"All Warner's preparation would have been about how he was going to combat and defeat Broad and score runs against him – and then England don't pick him! This just shows how poor a decision that was.

"Now Broad has ended up playing on the two pitches so far with the least amount of movement and missed out on the two pitches that would have done a lot for him."

England struck twice late on a rain-affected opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG to get back into the contest on Wednesday.

Australia finished the first day on 126-3 with Steve Smith (6 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (4 not out) at the crease after captain Pat Cummins won the delayed coin toss and elected to bat.

The hosts, who lead the series 3-0, had been firmly in control at 111-1 in the final session before veteran Jimmy Anderson (24-1 from 13 overs) and Mark Wood (31-1 from 10 overs) struck to dismiss opener Marcus Harris (38) and Test number one batsman Labuschagne (28) respectively.

Stuart Broad, back in the England side at the expense of Ollie Robinson, claimed the scalp of opener David Warner for 30 caught by Zak Crawley.

The opening session had been stop-start with rain delays seeing Australia go into lunch at 30-0, before adding another 26 runs until Broad found an edge from regular scalp Warner.

Rain fell shortly after Warner's dismissal leading to tea being taken after only 21.4 overs of play, but England got a crucial double strike in the final session before the weather intervened again.

Harris had been patient across more than three hours at the crease until Anderson drew an edge which Joe Root claimed at second slip.

England skipper Root introduced Mark Wood into the attack in the next over and dismissed Labuschagne caught behind by Jos Buttler.

Broad has the wood on Warner

Broad resumed his domination of Warner, dismissing him for the 13th time in Test cricket when he struck in the second session.

The right-arm fast bowler dismissed Warner seven times in the space of 104 balls during the 2019 Ashes in England, yet has been left out for two Tests in this series.

Sydney's rain woes

Only 46.5 overs were bowled on the first day at the SCG, which has been plagued by rain at recent Test matches at the venue.

In fact, Sydney has lost 26 days of Test cricket due to rain since 1877, which is significantly the most of any Australia venue and, while there was play, it was a frustrating opening day.

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith has claimed to be "surprised" at the lack of action afforded to England fast bowler Stuart Broad during the visitors' dire Ashes campaign.

Broad was dropped for the emphatic defeat in Melbourne on Boxing Day that saw Australia retain the urn after just three matches of a one-sided series.

Only two players in English history can better Broad's career record of 120 Test wickets against Australia, and the 35-year-old vented his frustration at his recent lack of influence last weekend, also casting doubt over his Test cricket future.

England's selections have faced fierce scrutiny after Australia racked up an unassailable 3-0 lead, with all-rounder Ben Stokes publicly denying he has any desire to succeed the under-pressure Joe Root as captain.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney, Smith said of Broad's absence: "We have been surprised. There have probably been two wickets that would have suited him well [in the first and third Tests, in Brisbane and Melbourne].

"He bowled well in Adelaide, and he's always been a good contest for me. He's got me out a few times, I've scored runs off him. I think it's been a decent battle.

"He and Jimmy [Anderson] 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, who has averaged 31.75 across the series, has turned his attention to putting in a strong individual performance in the penultimate test, as the hosts target a whitewash victory.

"It's been a little while since I've scored a hundred, but I got close in Adelaide," Smith said.

Smith's 93 runs in Adelaide's second Test was his highest score of the series to date, and the 32-year-old is looking to roll back the clock after averaging over 100 in each of the past two Ashes series, earning a reputation as England's tormentor. 

"We've played on some pretty bowler-friendly wickets in the first three Tests, and it's been tough to get into a rhythm," he noted.

"But hopefully this week I can spend a lot of time out there, get a big one and help us continue to have success."

Stuart Broad says his biggest frustration over England's Ashes failure is the feeling that he has "not really done anything" in Australia.

Australia retained the urn less than halfway through the series when they hammered England by an innings and 14 runs in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Broad was dropped in Melbourne, having taken two wickets in an emphatic 275-run thrashing at the Adelaide Oval after he and James Anderson were surprisingly omitted for the nine-wicket defeat in the first match of the series at the Gabba.

The 35-year-old has expressed his frustration over being omitted twice as the wounded tourists prepare for the fourth Test at the SCG, which starts on Wednesday.

"As a wobble-seam bowler, I feel as though I missed out on two of the best wobble-seam pitches in Australia," Broad wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

"Only playing once has made this a very disappointing trip, one that has not met my personal expectations.

"The biggest frustration is losing the Ashes, being 3-0 down and feeling like I've not really done anything. Not being able, as an experienced player, to influence a series while it's live is tough.

"But that is top-flight sport, and I am not the only one who will feel this way. Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow, guys who have played one or two games will feel the same, and it's part and parcel of touring."

Broad says he still has the desire to play for his country in the longest format despite such a painful tour.

He added: "Has it affected my hunger to play Test cricket? No. Looking at things pragmatically, I would argue that I won't get a better chance to take wickets than at Brisbane and Melbourne. But I must be ready for my next opportunity, whether that be in Sydney, Hobart or beyond.

"There is a long time between now and the tour of the Caribbean in March and I have never been one to make emotional decisions. So I'm not going to make any spur of the moment calls on my future.

"I feel fit, I've come back from the calf injury feeling strong and I'm taking wickets in the nets. That's all I can do given the lack of tour games and the tight schedule."

England have spent long periods in bio-secure bubbles during the coronavirus pandemic and Broad says the players are feeling the impact of restrictions imposed on them.

He continued. "This tour has taken its toll on all of us. Without sounding like making excuses, we may be at the end of our mental tether with Covid.

"We are the only team that has played solid international cricket throughout the pandemic and our multi-format guys had already done 50 days in a bubble before they turned up here.

"We spent day two of the Boxing Day Test match testing for Covid and having guys moving out of their hotel rooms, away from their families, so they were no longer classed as close contacts.

"When you are faffing about with external stuff like that, it drags your focus away from where it needs to be."

Under-pressure England head coach Chris Silverwood will be absent for the fourth Test in Sydney, having tested positive for coronavirus while he was already in isolation due to what was a seventh positive COVID-19 case in the touring party. 

England have made sweeping changes ahead of the Ashes Boxing Day Test with Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes all omitted.

Batsmen Zac Crawley and Jonny Bairstow earn their first opportunities during this Ashes series while paceman Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach have been recalled.

England trail 2-0 in the Ashes after heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide and will look to keep the series alive at the MCG starting on Sunday.

Opening batsman Burns has been left out after managing only 51 runs at 12.75 along with Ollie Pope with 48 runs at 12 in the first two Tests.

Broad and Woakes make way as England look to add variety to their attack which has allowed Australia to score more than 400 runs in the first innings of both Test matches.

England vice-captain Jos Buttler told reporters on Saturday: "I'd say the reaction is just an honest one from the group. We've had some honest conversations.

"When you come and play Australia we need to be at your best. We're honest with ourselves that we haven’t been there yet. We have to find that very quickly."

Page 2 of 4
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.