Sport Broad plays down England captaincy links
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Stuart Broad has distanced himself from potentially taking over from Joe Root as England Test captain and instead appeared to back Ben Stokes for the job.
The fast bowler was, along with James Anderson, controversially left out of the squad for the recent tour to the West Indies which ended in a 1-0 series defeat and proved to be the last of Root's five years as skipper.
Broad, who has captained England in both T20 and one-day international cricket, is one of the names mooted as a potential successor to Root following his resignation on Friday. However, writing in his Mail On Sunday column, the 35-year-old insisted his sole focus was getting back into the England team and instead mentioned Stokes.
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"Naturally, I am aware that my name has been touted as a potential successor to Joe as England captain and I guess that is because I am an experienced centrally contracted player who has been around the international game a long time," Broad wrote.
"However, it is not something I have given any thought to because firstly I am not currently in possession of a shirt within the England Test team and my focus is very much on changing that by taking wickets for Nottinghamshire over the next few weeks.
"In fact, I would argue we are in a fairly unique position as far as selection for the Test team goes right now in that there are only two players whose names you could write in pen on the scorecard.
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"One of them is Joe Root, the other is Ben Stokes - and one of them isn't going to be captain for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2 because he has just given the job away."
Broad, who is yet to feature for Nottinghamshire in this year's County Championship, has played 152 Test matches for England since making his debut in 2007, taking 537 wickets at an average of 27.80.
His former England team-mate Nick Compton was among those to back him to succeed Root, at least on a short-term basis if all-rounder Stokes does not want to take on the captaincy after only making his international return in last winter's Ashes series.
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"Any talk of players who haven't earned their stripes in the team, I don't think is helpful," Compton told Sky Sports. "The guy that I put forward is Stuart Broad, I think he's the right man in this difficult phase.
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England have been lambasted for their shock decision to leave James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of their line-up for the First Ashes Test. The tourists have 1156 Test wickets sitting in the Gabba pavilion after omitting Anderson (632) and Broad (524), with Fox Cricket commentators Shane Warne and Mark Waugh saying they were perplexed by England’s selection policy. Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood, who are either untried against Australia or have had limited success, along with spinner Jack Leach and all-rounder Ben Stokes will be their bowling attack.
"He has the experience and that winning mentality. He's perhaps in the twilight of his career; he's seen a lot and he's been through a lot and in the last year or so. We've seen a guy who has upped his own game, along with Jimmy Anderson.
"He's the type of guy who could come together with the new coach and put down a marker for how this England team needs to move forwards. He potentially won't be there for a long period of time, but I think he's the right man.
"The one thing you can say about Stuart Broad, is when you need him, he stepped up. There's no doubt about that."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain backed Broad to lead England, who host New Zealand, India and South Africa in Test matches this summer, on a short-term basis as well.
However, he believes the 30-year-old Stokes should be the man viewed as Root's long-term successor.
"If Stokes is not in the right place, then short-term Stuart Broad has an excellent cricket brain, is a real fighter, a real competitor, and he's got a point to prove after what's happened in the last few months and we know what Broad is like when he's got a point to prove," Hussain told Sky Sports.
"Pat Cummins has led Australia as a bowler brilliantly, so in the short term, I can see Broad doing a similar thing.
"There are not that many candidates, the other option is to go outside the side and go down the Graeme Smith route that South Africa did, go outside the side and look in county cricket, but for me Stokes and Broad stand out."
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Root has won more Tests in charge than anyone else in England's history and he has always done that with a smile and managed to retain his class and dignity in the difficult times.Root has won more Tests in charge than anyone else in England's history and he has always done that with a smile and managed to retain his class and dignity throughout the difficult times.