Graeme Swann: Broad return can help England bounce back against Windies

England bowler Stuart Broad
Broad missed the first Test against West Indies

Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann urges England to pick their veteran line and length specialist for the second Test against the West Indies. Our man also discusses Jos Buttler's woes with the bat...

"England’s bowling attack does not work if you play Wood and Archer at the same time because you haven’t got anyone doing the donkey work."

I never want England to lose but it's nice to see a West Indies team playing competitive cricket again. It was sad to watch the decline of the Windies over the years from the perspective of a cricketing purist, especially as someone who grew up in the 1980s when they were the comic-book superheroes of the sport. Of course, this is not the same sort of team with a four-pronged fiery pace attack and flamboyant batting but there are elements of it.

Jason Holder is perfect for English conditions: his bowling is just the right pace, he's got height and he swings the ball away so he can be a devilishly difficult man to face in our conditions. As a team the Windies bowled beautifully in murky conditions during the first Test at the Ageas Bowl and England were unable to cope.

Broad return would get best out of Archer

I think Ben Stokes did a decent job on his first outing as skipper - but if he had picked the right team, they would have won that Test match.

I wonder if England subconsciously underestimated the West Indies and thought they didn't need Stuart Broad. If England think he's not in their strongest XI any more, that's skewed thinking. He's done nothing to warrant being dropped in my view.

He'll be pissed off and he should be. In some ways, this is the worst ever game to miss after six months on the sidelines, sitting around doing nothing, and the practical truth is that England's bowling attack does not work if you play Wood and Archer at the same time because you haven't got anyone doing the donkey work.

Now Broady is no donkey - but he can bowl 25 overs a day at the same pace and at a high level. He's the best bowler England have at doing that. He's monotonous in his ability to hit the perfect line and length and in those conditions he would have been nigh-on unplayable.

And if you have someone bowl all those overs, you can then use Jofra Archer or Mark Wood properly, by which I mean bowling 10 or 12 overs a day absolutely flat out.

Jofra Archer England cricketer.jpg

There's been a lot of criticism of Archer because his pace is down but no one is putting two and two together to realise that it's because he is bowling too many overs.

If you use either of these guys in short, sharp bursts, they can bowl absolute blitzkrieg four-over spells - but only the presence of someone like Broady allows those guys to do it.

Root's return is no-brainer

Joe Root coming back in for Joe Denly looks like a straightforward decision. I love Joe Denly, he's a great player, but he's just not grabbed the opportunities he has had.

It might not be the end of his Test career because you never know what's round the corner but he's had a lot of chances to go and get that big score and he has not quite nailed it.

What I find really hard to get my head around is the fact that he keeps getting in and getting starts, which is the hardest thing to do for top-order batsmen, but he doesn't go on and make a big score. It's a bit like James Vince: lots of 20s and 30s but none of those big hundreds that change games.

Let Buttler play his natural game

If you want someone to bat normally in Test cricket, you pick Ben Foakes, who is a better red-ball player. But I'm not calling for Jos Buttler to be dropped. He's an influential figure in the team and he is a world-class ODI and T20 cricketer. But you do get a very diluted version of Buttler in Test cricket if you ask him to bat the way he has been.

When they first picked Jos in the Test side, I thought it was a really good, innovative idea, because why wouldn't you want to give a guy with that much talent two chances to turn a match on its head? That could be the kind of spark that takes England from one of the best teams around to an unbeatable one, because he's absolutely world-class with the white ball.

But Buttler would be a lot more successful for England in Tests if he didn't try to bat in the manner that he does. He tries to bat sensibly and it doesn't really work.

I think if England are honest, what has happened is that he's performed at a reasonable level and so they haven't been brave enough to ask him to do that. I think you have to pick him as a lower middle-order game-changer, a "Ian Botham '81" kind of batter, and let him grab games by the scruff of the neck.

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