The 34-year-old fast bowler, who has earned 138 test caps and sits second on the country’s all-time wickets list, was edged out of the team when England opted for a pace attack of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in Southampton.
Broad played the previous 51 home tests, dating to 2012 when he was rested in a dead match, and finished as the team’s top wicket-taker in both the 2019 Ashes and the away series in South Africa. “I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” Broad said. "To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement — you get disappointed if you drop your phone and break your screen.
“I’ve been frustrated, angry and gutted because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt, having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.”
Broad said he was given “pretty positive feedback going forward” about his status in the squad after asking for clarification from national selector Ed Smith. England stand-in captain Ben Stokes previously told Broad the selectors were “going with extra pace” at the Rose Bowl.
Broad acknowledged England has an unusually strong field of candidates in the pace department. “We’re in quite a unique position this summer. Very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit like we’ve got at the minute and all your bowlers ready to go,” he said in an interview on Sky Sports.
“I felt like I deserved a spot in the team, like everyone else. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI, too. So it is hard to take but also I’m quite pleased I feel frustrated and feel gutted and angry because if I didn’t I’d have a different decision to make."
James Anderson, England's leading wicket-taker, understood the frustration of his long-time strike partner. “It's great that a guy of his age and experience is showing signs of frustration at being left out," Anderson told the BBC. "It shows he’s hungry to still play. But it also shows our depth in bowling. I’m sure over the course of the next tests there will be a few guys disappointed”.
Stokes has said England is likely to rotate the bowlers during the three-match series against the West Indies, with the second and third tests taking place in Manchester.
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