Former Australia spinner Shane Warne slammed England’s decision to drop both of their experienced pacers from the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Shane Warne, however, believes that England could’ve used the conditions on offer well by adding at least one of James Anderson or Stuart Broad.
On the overcast weather in Brisbane, England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. However, their decision to drop both their leading wicket-takers raised several questions. Instead, England went with Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood in their pace-bowling attack as well.
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While speaking to Fox Cricket, Shane Warne felt England had a chance to put pressure on Australia if James Anderson and Stuart Broad would’ve been there in the playing XI. The veteran said:
“It’s huge. It’s one of those things, you would have thought the think tank of the England squad would have been, ‘Let’s hit Australia first up’. It looks overcast at the Gabba, the pitch looks green, Anderson and Broad together, strike while the iron’s hot. Broad’s had the wood on Warner so if I was going to rest them and keep them for as many Test matches as you can, play them in the first couple.”
“I would have been hitting them right between the eyes” – Shane Warne
England’s 12-member squad for the first Test had already seen James Anderson out of the squad, with an eye on the pink-ball Test as well. However, Stuart Broad was named in the 12-member squad only to be left out.
Shane Warne questioned the tactics, saying that he would have gone all guns blazing against Australia at the Gabba, considering they lost their last Test in this venue for the first time in 30 years.
“I would have thought play the Gabba, play at Adelaide, and then if you have to mix and match a bit and rest and rotate, then so be it. Australia lost a Test at the Gabba last summer (against India) for the first time in over 30 years, I would have been hitting them right between the eyes with Anderson and Broad but unfortunately, they (England) have decided to rest them,” Shane Warne concluded.