England captain Joe Root said that fast bowler Stuart Broad could still be playing a "massive part" in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka but didn't confirm that the veteran would be featuring in the XI for the first game at Galle, starting Tuesday, November 6.
Root further added to the scrutiny by saying that even if Broad happens to miss the all-important encounter, it shouldn't be viewed as a changing of the guard or beginning towards the end for him.
"I wouldn't say it's a changing of the guard and I wouldn't say he's in a weaker position than he has been previously. He (Broad) could still definitely play a massive part within the three-match series and definitely in the first game is an option,” Root said ahead of the match.
Root also affirmed that while England is intent on finding a “different formula” for success overseas, Broad still remains an important part of the set-up.
He said, “We've been away from home for a number of times now and struggled so finding a different formula with him or without him, I don't think it weakens him as a player or shows where his game is going."
Broad, who has taken 35 Test wickets at an average of 26.85 in 2018, was praised by Root, before signing off, where he said, "I think he's actually improving all the time and using his experience wisely. His action is as strong as it has ever been, but whether we have to find a different formula, we'll just wait and see."
England is currently involved in a two-day warm-up game against Sri Lanka Board President's XI that ends on October 31, before the much-awaited first Test, which is also Rangana Herath's last game at the highest level.
(Inputs from Cricket Next)