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England v West Indies

Pietersen: Anderson, Broad ‘dead certs’ for first Test of the summer

Anderson Broad
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Kevin Pietersen feels that England’s trusted fast-bowling pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad should remain their first choice for the Southampton Test against West Indies, despite an assortment of pace bowling choices to pick from.

Pre-match reports indicate that England, under new captain Ben Stokes, could keep out Broad in favour of including Anderson alongside Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
On Tuesday, Michael Vaughan, Pietersen’s long-time teammate, said that he expected only one of Anderson or Broad to make the final cut, tipping the 37-year-old Anderson, England’s most capped bowler, ahead of Broad, who is just 15 shy of 500 Test wickets.

Pietersen, however, said England should go ahead with their two most experienced quicks, who have featured in as many as 116 Tests together, the last of which was at Cape Town against South Africa earlier this year.

“England have got a wonderful bowling attack that did really well in South Africa earlier in the year,” Pietersen said. “They’ve got a variety of fast bowlers, so who they select of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, and Chris Woakes in the final XI really comes down to what the conditions are like.

“For now, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad are still dead certs. In the first Test of the summer, after a long break, you go with them and see how they get on. There are certainly plenty of options, though.”

Broad has not missed a single Test at home since 2012, ever since he was rested for that year’s Birmingham Test against West Indies. The West Indies squad features an impressive pace line-up of Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel, but Pietersen feels that it’s West Indies’ batting that could make or break their fortunes in the three-match series, beginning with the Southampton Test on Wednesday.

“West Indies have got a really good bowling attack, with Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph, but it’s about their batsmen,” said Pietersen. “They haven’t had many great ones for a few years now. The Ageas Bowl is one of the best venues to bat in the country – the pitch has good bounce and is evenly-paced.

“There should be plenty of runs, but can West Indies really score 400 in the first innings of a Test match? That could decide the series.”

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