Stuart Broad seems to have been lacking a great deal of his pace over the last few months and now it has emerged why. He has a weak heel. Broad has been ruled out of the final Test of the four match series against India which means he is also a big doubt for the One Day International and Twenty20 matches which follow.
Broad is the captain of the T20 side and one of the most experienced players in the Test match squad. He’s played 52 Tests and is quickly closing in on 200 Test wickets which are figures that very few fast bowlers around the world can get anywhere close to.
The news is a big blow because he is one of the best all rounders that England have. When his pace is not down dramatically in a match he can be very effective pitching the ball up and also banging it in halfway down the pitch to rough up the opposition. He’s also not afraid to have a word or two on his follow through.
The knock on effects of this news are going to be felt after the Test series has finished. England lost their last ODI series in India 5-0 and that lack of an experienced figure to go in the bowling attack means England will be weaker as a result. His average in ODI cricket is superb at just over 27.
England would have been hoping to rotate during the limited overs matches with the likes of James Anderson, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan all regularly competing with Broad for the fast bowling positions. Broad’s injury means England cannot do that which places a lot of pressure on the fit fast bowlers.
It also means that key Test match and limited overs players are less likely to get a break from the side ahead of important back-to-back contests against New Zealand and Australia next year.
Broad himself will figure in both of those series but this absence means he could be rusty. If he goes into the matches in New Zealand out of form and rhythm then it could force a repeat of Steven Finn coming into the seam attack and if he bowls well, Broad will find it difficult to get a look in.
The news is far from ideal but England can recover and ensure that the impacts of it are limited. He will still be bitterly disappointed that he was dropped from the Test match team but fingers crossed this setback will make him all the more determined to get the problem sorted out and to come back a much better and faster bowler because of it.