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England could rest Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad on Sri Lanka trip

The Guardian logo The Guardian 09/09/2018 Ali Martin at the Kia Oval
Joe Root, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad of England inspect the ball during the fifth Test. © Getty Images Joe Root, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad of England inspect the ball during the fifth Test.

The loss of Alastair Cook’s experience for this winter’s tour to Sri Lanka has strengthened the case for Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad being retained by England amid talk that one or both could be tactically rested with a view to being fresher for next summer’s Ashes.

Ed Smith, the national selector, admitted during an interview on BBC’s Test Match Special that while no decisions have been made, his panel “would consider” leaving out Anderson, 36, and Broad, 32, for the trip. He described them as having “a lot of miles on the tyres” and therefore the selectors and medical staff may need to manage workloads.

Related: Alastair Cook in control for England after fresh Keaton Jennings flop

But with Cook currently playing his 161st and final Test match, England’s assistant head coach, Paul Farbrace, is wary of senior voices being missing from the setup for what will be a challenging series in Sri Lanka in November. He thus expects the new-ball pairing still to travel, even if they are not necessarily guaranteed to play.

Farbrace said: “As much as we will miss [Cook’s] runs and centuries, we will also miss his calming influence among the team and his way of going about things. Come Sri Lanka there will be people looking round, seeing he’s not there and realising what an impact he’s had on them and us as a team.

“That would certainly be something Smith, Trevor Bayliss [the head coach] and Joe Root [as captain] would be looking at, making sure we still have good experience in the side. It’s all very well having younger players but you need people who have been around the block.

“Those two [Broad and Anderson], we want to make sure they are fresh and firing for the Ashes next summer. They will play a massive part in winning them back. But I would be surprised if they are not on the trip [to Sri Lanka]. If they don’t play every game, then so be it.”

Related: Robotic Keaton Jennings out cheaply again but will still go to Sri Lanka | Barney Ronay

While not a selector, Farbrace also threw his support behind the retention of Keaton Jennings, citing a particularly tough summer for openers from both sides, and believes Moeen Ali’s deployment at No 3 could continue into the winter trips to Sri Lanka and the Caribbean given the balance the all-rounder would bring to the side.

Farbrace said of Moeen, who has made scores of 50 and 20 in this Test: “He showed first innings he’s not all about big shots. He got stuck in. He wants to bat at No 3 and it gives us the opportunity, if we want, to play three spinners. The two series coming up, I think he’s put himself in a good position to bat at No 3 in both.”


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