India v England: Stuart Broad needs a break, says Sir Ian Botham
India v England: Sir Ian Botham says Stuart Broad "needs a break" after failing to take a wicket in the opening two Tests
Sir Ian Botham believes Stuart Broad “needs a break” from cricket ahead of the third Test against India in Kolkata.
England’s vice-captain has looked below par against India, leading to calls that the fit-again Steven Finn should replace him.
Botham is unconvinced Broad can return to top form mid-series and suggests the bowler needs a sustained break to justify his selection.
“Stuart Broad is way off the mark at the moment,” Botham told Sky Sports News. “Why that is, I don’t know. Whether this heel injury is plaguing him and he’s carrying it.
Broad has failed to take a single wicket in the series going at nearly four-and-a-half runs an over in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
“Maybe Stuart just needs a break. He’s a young lad – relatively young; he’s had a lot of work over the last three or four years. Now’s maybe the time to rest him,” Botham added.
“He hasn’t actually performed for a little while now, by his own standards. He knows that – only he knows why; he’s well down on his pace; he’s looking tired, he’s looking jaded.”
Finn, 23, has been injured since the tour’s opening warm-up match but has impressively worked his way back to full fitness at a crucial point in the series.
Playing for the England Performance Programme last week, the Middlesex paceman took four for 50 against DY Patil Academy to press his Test claims.