Broad: West Indies series a chance for England players to stake Ashes claim
Stuart Broad knows England's upcoming Investec Test series with West Indies is a chance for some players to cement their place for the Ashes tour later this year.
After defeating South Africa 3-1 to begin Joe Root's reign as captain, Broad and his team-mates take on West Indies over three matches, starting with the first day-night Test in England at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The hosts still have problems aplenty in nailing down a settled and reliable batting line-up, and Broad is hoping the likes of Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan and Tom Westley can contribute to a series victory as well as furthering their own causes ahead of the trip to Australia.
"You're desperate for every player who plays to succeed," he told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Investec.
"Consistency will be important going forward. We've got some great talent in England, some really exciting players and this series will be vital to win, play some positive cricket and it will be an opportunity to get on a tour to Australia.
"The important thing is when you get to the Gabba [for the first Ashes Test on November 23], you know the role you're playing and how you'll move forward.
"In 2013-14, we had a lot of changes. We'll be desperate to go to Australia with a settled team, with a team we know can go to Australia and win, so it's up to the players in this series to win it and put some performances in."
The Ashes had been thrown into doubt after Australia's players became embroiled in a row over pay with Cricket Australia, which was only resolved earlier this month after the country's top performers had effectively been out of contract and unemployed since the end of June.
"It seems to have been settled and moved in the right direction," Broad said. "The players are the game, they held all the cards and it was good unity from the Australian players to stick together and I'm just delighted that the Ashes series will be going ahead as planned.
"You know the backbone and the key players who'll be playing. We know they're a very dangerous team with a lot of world-class players. They've got strength in depth and it'll be a fascinating series."