England’s James Anderson has offered his support to fellow paceman Stuart Broad, after the Vice captain came under fire for his performances in the first two tests in India.
Most cricket betting pundits will agree that 26-year-old Broad has been far from his best in both Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and is yet to take a wicket on the tour so far.
England’s bowling Coach, David Saker, had admitted earlier this week that the selectors would have to think long and hard about Broad’s inclusion for the next test in Calcutta, and the Nottinghamshire man’s cause will not have been helped by Steven Finn successfully coming through a Performance Programme clash with DY Patil Academy following his comeback from a thigh injury.
With Finn’s return, the pressure appears to be on Broad to keep his place in the side but Anderson believes that his team-mate is good enough to come through such a challenging spell:
“It’s difficult,” said Anderson.
“If you’re not on top of your game out here, you’re going to go for runs – and that’s what’s happened to Broady (Stuart Broad).
“He’s been through this before. We’ve all been through it, where you’re slightly out of form. But he’s a strong character, strong enough to bounce back.”
Anderson’s praise will have been a welcome boost to Broad, who has been struggling to find form for a while now.
Despite being the leading seamer wicket taker in the world this year, his form has dipped dramatically in recent times with the 6ft 5in bowler having taken only 14 wickets in his last six tests at an average of over 50.
However, England will hope that Broad can stop the rut in Calcutta as they go in search of a second consecutive win that would put them in charge of the series against the hosts.