Rarely one sees cricket teams omitting one of the premier bowlers from the playing XIs, but an instance happened when England decided to leave Stuart Broad, their second-highest Test wicket-taker in history, with 485 scalps, for the first Test against the West Indies that began at Southampton on July 8.
This meant the right-arm pacer missed his first home Test since 2012, as stand-in skipper Ben Stokes opted for the extra pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood over the experience of Broad.
"I've been frustrated, angry, gutted because it is 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, particularly winning the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there,” Broad said to Sky Sports ahead of day 3.
"But we are also in a fairly unique position this summer - very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit, as we've got at this minute. Part of my strength and durability as a cricketer is that I've been fit on a lot of occasions and been available for selection. I felt like I deserved a spot in the team as would anyone else," he added.
Broad has been the highest wicket-taker for England since 2018 with 87 scalps, 24 more than second-placed Anderson, with an average of 25.77. In the home matches played during this period, Broad still stands atop being the only bowler with 50-plus wickets.
"I was given pretty positive feedback in going forward. 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,” Broad signed off.
England batted first after winning the toss under overcast conditions, but Jason Holder’s 6/42 and Shannon Gabriel’s 4 wickets bundled England out for 204 runs.