(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Ex-England batsman turned pundit James Taylor has insisted selectors should not give it a moment’s thought in dropping either Stuart Broad of Jimmy Anderson.
England’s leading wicket-taking duo in Test cricket came under the scrutiny of Michael Vaughan earlier this week in the lead up to the second Test at Headingley on Friday for their performances at Lord’s.
The 2005 Ashes-winning captain claimed England’s problems had ‘gone beyond just changing the opening batsman’ and that selectors should consider ‘leaving out one of James Anderson or Stuart Broad’.
After being completely outclassed by Pakistan in a nine-wicket defeat at the Home of Cricket, Taylor remained adamant that following Vaughan’s suggestion would be a wrong move by the selection panel.
“Now is not the time to panic and get rid of your two best bowlers – especially when the biggest problem hasn’t been the bowling!” Taylor wrote in the Evening Standard.
“We are talking about one of the most successful pace combinations of all time. The end will come eventually, but it would be ridiculous to dismiss a proven player when you’re under the pump and need them to stand up.
“They just need to watch how Pakistan bowled at Lord’s: off stump, full length, finding just enough movement. England must expect them to be every bit as relentless again and the batsmen will have their work cut out once more.
Broad had little to celebrate in the first Test, claiming match figures of 1-74 and scoring two ducks in both innings with the bat.
While Anderson fares much better having taken 68 wickets in his last 15 Tests both home and abroad at an average just over 19.
The likelihood of either bowler being dropped appears slim with concerns over the fitness of Ben Stokes leading selectors to call up Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran as cover.
Should Stokes fail a late fitness Test before day one’s play in Leeds, Curran or Chris Woakes will be the options on hand for Joe Root to call upon.