England pace bowler Stuart Broad says he is “angry, frustrated and gutted” to have been left out of the first Test against West Indies in Southampton.
Broad, England’s all-time second-highest wicket-taker in Tests, was omitted in favour of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
“I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports.
“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement.”
Broad has taken 48 wickets at an average of 23.52 in Tests in the past year – only Australia’s Pat Cummins has taken more.
He had played all of England’s Tests in that period, all while each of Anderson, Archer and Wood endured long injury lay-offs.
However, with all three fit to play in Southampton, England restored Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, and combined the extra pace of Archer and Wood for the first time in Tests.
“It is quite a hard decision to understand,” added Broad. “I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years.
“We’re also in quite a unique position this summer. Very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit, like we have at the minute.
“You can’t argue that the bowlers walking on that field don’t deserve to play, it’s just annoying when it’s not you that’s in the final XI.”
The decision to field Wood and Archer could have been taken with the 2021-22 Ashes tour in mind, with extra pace likely to be a key weapon in England’s bid to win in Australia.
Also, it was felt that a dry surface in Southampton was better suited to the faster bowlers.
“The chairman of selectors made it clear they are picking pitch for pitch,” said Broad of national selector Ed Smith. “The decision to go with extra pace on this pitch was based on being here and based on this pitch.
“That means if I get to Old Trafford for the second Test and it looks like it might seam from full of a length, I might have a chance.
“I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove. The selectors know what I can do. When I get that opportunity again, you can bet I’ll be on the money.”