STUART BROAD has spoken about being “frustrated, angry and gutted” at being dropped for the First Test.
Broad admitted the decision came as a bombshell because he felt sure he would be chosen after being England’s leading wicket-taker in their most recent series in South Africa.
In the end, caretaker captain Ben Stokes and head coach Chris Silverwood opted for the extra pace of Mark Wood at the Ageas Bowl.
Broad said: “I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. You get disappointed if you drop your phone and break your screen.
“I’ve been frustrated, angry, gutted because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years.
“I felt like it was my shirt having been in the team through the Ashes last summer and going to South Africa and winning there.
“But we’re also in quite a unique position this summer – very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit and ready to go like we have at the minute.
“Part of my strength and durability as a cricketer is that I’ve been fit, touchwood, on a lot of occasions. So, yeah, I was frustrated by the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team like everyone else.
“It’s hard to take but also I’m quite pleased I feel frustrated and gutted and angry because, if I didn’t, I’d have a different decision to make.
“I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove – England know what I can do. The selectors know what I can do.
“And when I get that opportunity again, you can bet I’ll be on the money.”
Broad, speaking to Sky TV, added: “I found out about 6pm the night before the game. Stokesy told me they’re going with extra pace on these conditions. I spoke to Ed Smith (chief selector) last night. I wanted clarification on the future going forward and I was given pretty positive feedback.
“I’m not really bothered about milestones. Now I’ll be doing as much as I can in the next week or so to make sure I’m available for Old Trafford. The chairman of selectors made it clear they’ll be picking pitch for pitch.
“The decision to go with extra pace is based on being here at the Ageas Bowl. That means if I get to Old Trafford and it looks like it might seam from full of a length, I might have a chance.
“You can’t argue that the bowlers walking on the field don’t deserve to play – everyone deserves to play – it’s just annoying when it’s not you in that XI.”