Selection call questioned by legends, Warne’s big Stokes prediction

Cricket, featured, The Ashes



Former England captain Michael Vaughan and Shane Warne have expressed surprise that the tourists left veteran paceman Stuart Broad out of their XI for the must-win third Test in Melbourne.

Broad’s omission was one of four changes for the England team, who batted first on what looked a juicy after returning Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss.

Broad was set aside for Ollie Robinson surprising the Fox Cricket commentators ahead of the toss.

“So far the only thing they’ve done right on the trip is turn up on time,” said Vaughan.

“They’ve got pretty much everything wrong. Selection, tactics have not been right.

“Stuart Broad should be playing here. He should have played in Brisbane. How Stuart Broad’s not going to be bowling around the wicket onto David Warner on a greentop I just can’t fathom that. The quality he brings.”

James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad watch on during the first Test between England and India in 2021. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Under fire England captain Joe Root looked as glum as the Melbourne sky when he lost the toss. He won it in Brisbane and batted when the wicket did plenty, and said he would have chosen to bowl hin Melbourne had he won the toss.

The toss loss just piled more pressure on Root, who is still searchng for a first Ashes ton in Australia.

“He’s a great guy, a fantastic human being but he’s made mistakes over the last year – getting it wrong in Brisbane with selection, getting it wrong in Adelaide,” said Vaughan.

“Broad and Anderson weren’t brilliant in Adelaide but all players will tell you they need a game or two then you start to see the real quality,” said Vaughan.

Warne agreed: “Ollie Robinson could bowl well and take wickets. Stuart Broad, this week is such a big week for the senior players when you’re 2-0 down, with no Broad it relies on a few others.

“I would have played Broad this week for sure, more for the fact you’re 2-0 down and need senior players to stand up.

These guys Broad and Anderson feed off each other. I was lucky enough to have Glenn McGrath – all good sides have two bowlers who work really well together.

“Broad and Anderson together it’s a healthy competition with them. I would have left Robinson out and played Broad.”

Vaughan and Warne also highlighted Ben Stokes ineffectual impact in the opening two matches.

“Stokes is two Test matches into his comeback – we’d like to see Stokes be a bit more aggressive,” said Vaughan.

“He’s almost trying to play the pure Test match way. He’s almost trying to play and bat for a long period.

“He’s a better player when he’s of the mindset I’m in now I’m going to attack.”

Nathan Lyon tied Stokes down in Adelaide and Warne said the English allrounder need to wrest the initiative.

“When the bowler starts to know that the batsman isn’t going to score and is trying to survive there’
s no pressure on the bowler. Even if you’re trying to draw the game you’ve got to put a bit of pressure back on the bowler.

“I reckon this is the Test where Ben Stokes says you know what I’m here.”

Vaughan meanwhile repeated his thought that England needed to come out and be more nasty in this match, after a great spirit between the teams in the two Tests so far.

Another old Ashes warrior, Glenn McGrath, has also found the atmosphere not to his liking.

“I remember, when Nasser Hussain came out here with England, they weren’t even allowed to talk to us or say ‘G’day’,” McGrath told the UK Telegraph.

“It’s all about body language. How much does it mean, representing your country? England have to go back to the drawing board and have a real good think about this.

“With the IPL and the Big Bash, these players know one another well. When you see batsmen and bowlers joking around at the end of the over, even when it’s one-sided.

“I’d love there to be more of a battle. Australia aren’t going to take their foot off the throttle, now that they have Pat Cummins coming back. James Anderson looks like he’s down on pace, and the ball’s not swinging. This could get pretty ugly very quickly.”

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