Southampton, July 14: West Indies Test captain Jason Holder conceded he was left surprised after he saw speedster Stuart Broad wasn’t part of the England playing XI for the first Test of #raisethebat series at Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
West Indies beat England by four wickets to take a 1-0 lead on the three-match series. The last two matches will now be played at Old Trafford in Manchester starting July 16 and July 24 respectively.
Broad, who wasn’t picked for the first Test, had let his feelings known on national TV and had even sought assurances regarding his future from national selector Ed Smith. Holder stated even he was surprised at Broad’s omission.
“I was a little surprised England didn’t pick Stuart Broad. His record, particularly in this country, is outstanding and I thought they would leave out either Jofra Archer or Mark Wood,” Holder wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“But they put out a high quality attack, that’s for sure. It was the first time we have played a Test against Jofra and he was eager to get going against us and we were eager to get going against him,” he added.
Holder also sort of won the battle of all-rounders against Ben Stokes, who was named as England’s stand-in captain for Southampton Test. Regular skipper Joe Root had left the bio-secure bubble to be with his wife during the birth of their second child in Sheffield.
“Taking six wickets in the first innings fulfilled a personal ambition for me because I have always wanted to take a five-for in England and dreamt about getting on the Lord’s honours board in this series,” Holder wrote.
“That’s not to be but my next big aim is to make a hundred in England. A bit has been made about me taking on Ben Stokes in the battle of the all-rounders but getting him out twice in Southampton was enough for me without worrying about making any points.
“Stokesey is a great competitor and an excellent cricketer so to get someone of his calibre twice was great for the team. It really isn’t about individuals. It’s about the collective and what we are trying to achieve on this tour,” he added. (IANS)