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News

Broad will not take 'spur-of-the-moment calls' on his Test future

"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."

Stuart Broad was selected in only one of the three Ashes Tests so far  •  AFP/Getty Images

Stuart Broad was selected in only one of the three Ashes Tests so far  •  AFP/Getty Images

Stuart Broad has said he will not take "any spur-of-the-moment calls" on his future as an England player after a "very disappointing" tour to Australia which has seen him selected in only one of the first three Tests.
Broad was the world's leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2020 but took 12 wickets at 39.50 in 2021. He played in only seven out of England's 15 Tests last year due to a combination of rest and rotation, a calf injury and selection decisions, and was left out for the first and third Ashes Tests on seamer-friendly pitches.
David Warner, whom Broad dismissed seven times in the 2019 Ashes series, said after the MCG Test that it was "a great result that he's not playing" and the decision to leave Broad out of the first Test at the Gabba came in for criticism from Alastair Cook, who said selecting him should have been a "no-brainer".
Broad turns 36 in June and has already lined up a second career as a broadcaster and commentator with Sky Sports, and with Ollie Robinson - a similar style of bowler - impressing since his debut earlier this year, his future in the Test team has been called into question.
"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 his Mail on Sunday column. "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.
"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."
Broad also admitted that "the energy and the mood in the camp is low" heading into the final two Tests after Australia retained the urn within 12 days' play, and said that England were approaching "the end of our mental tether with Covid".
"This tour has taken its toll on all of us. Without sounding like [I'm] 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."
"There are no excuses for England's performances on this Ashes tour, he wrote, "but there are reasons why things have turned out as they have.
"Unfortunately our displays have reflected our preparation. Imagine Tiger Woods rocking up at the Masters having not played for four months, spending time in a biosecure bubble and then seeing his entire practice rained off. He hasn't played a single round of golf, yet he's still expecting to win. Would you bet on him in those circumstances? No, you wouldn't.
"The reality is we turned up undercooked while Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland and Jhye Richardson were playing state cricket. Yes, like us, Australia had players at the T20 World Cup until mid-November. But was it a level playing field? Not really.
"This tour has taken its toll on all of us. Without sounding like [I'm] 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."