Don’t regret leaving Broad out, says Stokes after Southampton loss

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 08: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal celebrates with team mate Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on April 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Southampton, July 13 (IANS) Stand-in England captain Ben Stokes doesn’t regret the decision to leave veteran pacer Stuart Broad out of the playing XI for the first Test against the West Indies which the hosts lost by four wickets 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 after the match on Sunday. “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.”

“There are a lots of positives in retrospect and this game was a good learning curve,” said Stokes.

Although Stokes said he enjoyed captaining his country for the first time in Joe Root’s absence, he stated, “I’ve loved captaining England, but 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.

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