Ben Stokes, the stand-in England skipper who lost the first Test to West Indies at Southampton, doesn’t regret the decision to leave veteran pacer Stuart Broad out of the playing XI in the four-wicket loss at the Ageas Bowl.
Chasing 200 on the final day of the Test match, West Indies came out with a gritty performance, especially from Jermaine Blackwood, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“I don’t regret leaving Stuart Broad out, and we are fortunate to leave someone like him out,” Stokes said. “I would be upset if he didn’t show the passion he did in that interview, and he’s nowhere near done. If he plays in the second Test I hope he walks off with some wickets.”
Broad, who has taken 485 Test wickets in 138 Tests since making his debut in 2007, had admitted that he was “frustrated, angry and gutted” after being dropped for the first Test.
England didn’t include him in the side as they went with returning James Anderson and the extra pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Meanwhile, the stand-in skipper also rued the chances which England missed during the defence of the target. “Pressure shows itself in different ways, and some hectic running goes on in the middle, and there are chances we didn’t take,” he said.
“There are a lot of positives in retrospect and this game was a good learning curve.”
Although Stokes said he enjoyed captaining his country for the first time in Joe Root’s absence, he stated: “This is Joe’s team and I welcome him back.”
Root, who was on paternity leave, is expected to lead the side in the second Test beginning July 16 at the Old Trafford.