Stuart Broad has not had a very good time of things in the opening two Test matches in India and his form is becoming a concern for the England bowling coach David Saker.
Broad is yet to take a wicket in the series so far and after Steven Finn took 4-60 in a tour match this week, he could find himself out of the side for the third encounter in Kolkata next month. There has been times where the paceman has been in poor run of form, but he has looked untouchable and his place not come under much threat.
However, it is difficult to ignore the performances of the vice-captain and with Finn waiting in the wings and taking wickets – it could be time for change.
Saker said: “There’s concern from Stuart’s point of view and ours. We’re hoping he [Finn] gets through, he’s probably the bowler we need over here because he has the extra pace.”
Many are quick to forget that Broad has taken 40 Test wickets in this calendar year and that is more than any other in the game. On his day, he is one of the best seamers around and does add a balance to the batting line-up as he is capable of scoring quick runs at the end of an innings.
In a series that has been dominated by spin though, it must have been tough for the Nottinghamshire man and he only bowled 12 overs in England’s fantastic victory in Mumbai.
Broad was sick leading up to the Test, but Saker had said that has nothing to do with his poor performance.
“We expect if you only play two seamers that they have some influence in the game” he said.
“We need them to do the job they’ve been asked to do and Stuart probably hasn’t done that as yet. He was sick, but I don’t think we can blame his performance on that.”
As mentioned, spin is the key factor in these conditions and the seamers just need to chip in with a wicket or two when they can. Finn’s pace and bounce may just give him the edge over Broad for this third Test.
It might mean that the Twenty20 captain is lugging on the drinks in Kolkata and coming on as a substitute fielder when needed.
With Broad being an experienced Test player with a great record, he will not be happy if he is left out. He has just over a week until the next match gets underway, so some serious work in the nets is needed.