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England v West Indies

Stuart Broad defends Ben Stokes’ toss decision in first West Indies Test

stokes toss
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Stuart Broad has defended Ben Stokes’ decision to bat first at the toss in the first Test of the summer at the Ageas Bowl against West Indies despite England’s iffy start with the bat in testing conditions.

England fell to 106-5 at lunch on the second day as West Indies made the most of overcast conditions with Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder taking two wickets apiece in the morning session. Joe Denly and Rory Burns both fell to deliveries that moved considerably in the air as the West Indies attack managed to find swing movement despite the new ban on saliva being used to help shine the ball.

Broad, who is missing a home Test for the first time in eight years, expressed his support for the decision made by England’s stand-in captain on the first morning. Towards the end of the first session on day two, Broad tweeted: “Lads battling hard in tremendous English bowling conditions.” He later replied to the tweet saying: “100% the right decision at the toss. You can’t tell what the clouds will be doing at lunchtime day 2 at the toss can you? & for everyone watching on tv we’ve already seen variable bounce and a lot of it.”

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