England head coach Chris Silverwood has confirmed that pace bowling stalwarts James Anderson and Stuart Broad are available for selection for the second Ashes Test here from December 16, but he has “not told anyone they are playing yet”.
Silverwood and England captain Joe Root have been criticised for dropping the duo for the opening Ashes Test at Brisbane, which Australia won by nine wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series.
Broad too seemed unhappy after being included in the 12-member squad the previous day and then being dropped on the morning of The Gabba Test. “It would be wrong in this scenario to kick up a stink. I’ve been left out on numerous occasions and sometimes it comes as a real surprise,” Broad wrote in his column for Daily Mail after England’s defeat.
On Sunday evening Silverwood said that, “They are available, yes. Jimmy (Anderson) will be fit and ready to go for the second Test, as will Stuart (Broad). But I have not told anyone they are playing yet.
“The guys have already been training with the pink ball behind the scenes and what we have got is a very skilful set of bowlers. We have talent and we still have two of the best up our sleeve as well,” Silverwood was quoted as saying by metro.co.uk.
England had gone with pacers Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes and spinner Jack Leach in the Test at The Gabba. While the pace bowlers were economical to some extent, 30-year-old left-arm spinner Leach bled runs, conceding 102 in 13 overs at an economy rate of nearly eight.
Silverwood said he was unfazed by the criticism and was willing to take responsibility for the big loss.
“It is part of my role to take the criticism because the buck stops with me. I have no problem with that and it is how it should be, but we have to work with what we have got,” he added.