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England have been rotating their pacers in the series but will have an interesting conundrum for the series decider against West Indies at Old Trafford.
With England in quest of a series win after a confidence-boosting win at Old Trafford last week, James Anderson feels that the team should go back to pairing him with Broad.
England have a pace-heavy line-up at their disposal with Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes also part of the squad. While their frontline pace attack was Anderson, Archer and Wood in the first Test, they had to go for a complete revamp in the second Test with Archer breaching the bio-secure bubble and Anderson and Wood rested.
Broad, Woakes and Curran did a brilliant job to lead England to a win, but now as the series-decider looms, there is a problem of plenty in England’s hands. The question is also about ensuring the pacers are well-rested as the team is scheduled to play three more Tests against Pakistan after this series with a very short turnaround time.
“I presume the best three players will play but it’s going to be a difficult decision for Joe [Root] and Chris [Silverwood] and there will be some disappointed guys,” Anderson told in a virtual media session, while stating that he believes he and Broad should be paired.
“Our record together speaks for itself and I’d really like to think that if we are both fit and England are picking their best bowling attack then we’d both be in that,” he said. “It’s a good position to be in because it shows we have strength in depth.”
England have won 51 and lost 38 Tests when Anderson and Broad play together. The two paces last featured a Test together against South Africa in Cape Town earlier this year.
But the question is also about workload and Anderson admits there is some “stiffness with the bowlers”.
It’s about being smart with the practice now and going into Friday really fresh,” Anderson said. “We have a great opportunity to win the series and we want to kick on from last Test’s win. If we keep looking to improve, I’m sure we’ll put in another good performance this week.”