Stuart Broad defends Joe Root’s declaration at Headingley

Stuart Broad and Joe Root
Stuart Broad and Joe Root

Just when everyone had written Windies’ team off after the humiliating loss in the first Test by an innings and 209 runs, the visitors came back big time and pulled off a stunning victory in the second Test at Headingley.

England’s fast bowler Stuart Broad believes that the 3rd and the final Test at the Lord’s will be a do or die match for his team. He accepted that the side made a few mistakes that cost them the match but the pacer also praised the effort of Windies.

“Lord’s has now become do or die. Yes, we’d rather have wrapped up the series by now, but to be pitched into a high-pressure battle in our last Test before the Gabba on November 23 is no bad thing. Not only is a series up for grabs, but there’s a chance for guys to book a place on the flight to Australia. It’s exciting,” wrote Stuart Broad in his column for Daily Mail.

“We’re frustrated we lost, and we know we made some serious mistakes, but huge credit must go to West Indies for the way they fought back after Edgbaston. We never got sucked into the argument that they were ripe for another beating after that first Test,” added Broad.

Declaration was spot on

There was a criticism of the English skipper Joe Root about the declaration in the second innings. England gave Windies a target of 322 which the latter chased down due to the superlative knocks by Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite. Stuart Broad believes the declaration was made at the right time and it was the bowlers’ inefficiency to take wickets and a few dropped catches that made the difference.

“In my book, Joe got the declaration spot on. It wasn’t his fault the bowlers didn’t take wickets and the fielders dropped catches. And it wasn’t his fault that the pitch didn’t deteriorate at all — it just got slower, as Dawid Malan showed by grinding out a valuable 61 in five hours,” he added.

“And that meant Joe needed to tempt West Indies with a target that encouraged them to play a few shots and go on the drive. If they’d shut up shop, it would have been very hard to take 10 wickets. It was hard enough as it was,” concluded Broad.

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