England likely to manage workload on Stuart Broad and James Anderson during Test series against India
What's the story?
James Anderson and Stuart Broad might be England's most experienced fast bowlers at the moment and with a 5-match Test series against a high-flying Indian side coming up, one might expect the duo to be leading the England bowling attack throughout the series.
That might not be the case though if the latter's words are to be believed with the England team management likely to rest their senior pacers at one point or the other through the course of the series which will see five Test matches being played over a six-week period.
“There have already been small conversations saying: ‘Don’t be disheartened if you are left out for a Test match. It’s not a personal attack or dropping; it’s management of the bowlers to give ourselves the best chance," Broad said.
“It won’t get to the stage where I am left out, I’d go back and play county cricket. It’s ‘You’re missing out, a fresh bowler is coming in, you stay around (the squad), keeping talking, stay part of the unit’. So its only natural to expect small changes throughout five Tests but the bowlers have to be able to take it," he added.
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It is not just the tight schedule that is making the England team management ponder over how best to manage the workload on their leading pacers.
Anderson has been struggling with his right shoulder for nearly two years and recently underwent a six-week rehabilitation programme to be ready in time for the crucial series against India.
Broad, on the other hand, has been having issues with his ankle and had to take an injection in his left ankle before turning out for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship recently.
The heart of the matter
While Broad and Anderson might not be the force they once were, the highly-experienced duo will play a key role in the outcome of the series.
Much will depend on how well Virat Kohli is able to play in the English conditions in comparison to his disastrous outing in 2014.
The Indian skipper had a torrid time last time around, scoring just 134 runs from 5 Test matches, but Broad is aware that the 29-year-old will be hungry to turn things around.
Broad and Anderson accounted for Kohli's wicket six times out of ten dismissals during the series in 2014 but believes that targetting a particular batsman might not fetch them much success this time around.
Broad feels that the England bowling attack has to work well as a unit to come out on top against an Indian batting line-up that is high on confidence considering their recent success in the longer format of the game.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar ruled out of the first three Tests of the series and Jasprit Bumrah missing from the series opener, it seems as if the home side have the early advantage ahead of the first Test which begins at Birmingham on Wednesday.
However, the Indian pace-attack still boasts a lot of quality with the likes of Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav and will no doubt relish the pace-friendly conditions in England.