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May 2009
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The TWC Summit: Would England bat Stuart Broad at No.7 against Australia?

May 6th, 2009 by TWC in Australia, England, The Ashes, yorkshire and tagged

In picking Stuart Broad to bat at No.7 against the West Indies at Lord’s in the absence of Andrew Flintoff, England may have released the first draft of their contingency plans for another Flintoff injury pre-Ashes. By moving Matt Prior up to No.6, they have given themselves the best chance of taking 20 wickets and ending a run of six drawn matches at Lord’s. But it’s one thing doing it against the Windies, what about Australia? Would they? Should they? We asked our panel…

Daniel Brigham

Assistant editor of The Wisden Cricketer

If Flintoff is not fit for the Ashes, Broad will bat at No.7 against Australia. England have made it clear they want five bowlers and, without Freddie, Broad is the best batsman of those five so he slots in at No.7.

He may not be quite ready for the role – his batting ability has been a little overhyped – but he does have a Test hundred in him, which is more than Freddie has looked like scoring since 2005. The scenario might have been different if McGrath and Warne were still around but, as it is, there is little reason to worry about Broad coming in at No.7. Certainly makes more sense than Flintoff at No.6 …

Benj Moorehead

Editorial assistant of The Wisden Cricketer

If Broad fails to make runs against West Indies, then no. But without Flintoff England would want to play Broad at No.7 if they possibly can, because this will allow them to use the formula which was so successful in 2005 – four quicks and a spinner. Rightly or wrongly, there is a sense that Australia’s bowlers pose less of a problem than their batsman, another reason for England to play a bowling allrounder at No.7. Furthermore England have not taken 20 wickets in a Test in six matches (excluding the one abandoned in Antigua). And the backdrop to all this is an era in which the so-called good pitch is dominating international cricket where batsmen have it easy. Five bowlers is becoming vital to providing variety and stamina to disadvantaged bowling attacks.

Rob Smyth

Freelance journalist

No. English cricket is programmed to take the conservative option and there is no reason to expect that to change. Nor, in this case, should it: Australia will not promote Mitchell Johnson, a superior batsman to Broad, so why should England?

King Cricket

Blogger and Rob Key fan

No, that would be mental. Even if it’s not outright mental to bat Broad at No.7, who would bat at eight? It all feels a bit fragile and the top five would probably be thinking the same thing, which wouldn’t help anyone (anyone English anyway).

You want a load of stubborn bastards in your lower order to get on the opposition’s nerves. That’s what Test cricket’s all about: being irritating. Like life.

Sam Collins

Web editor of

The selectors are walking a tightrope of bravery and stupidity. Broad is talented – no doubt – but Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee have genuine pace, the one quality that tends to do for bowlers-who-bat above everything else. If, for whatever reason, Flintoff does miss the Ashes the selectors must achieve the impossible by finding a way to take 20 wickets without compromising the batting to this degree.

That said, I applaud the boldness of the selection in this instance.

Posted in Australia, England, The Ashes, yorkshire |

4 Responses to “The TWC Summit: Would England bat Stuart Broad at No.7 against Australia?”

  1.   Bopara does well, others not so much « says:

    [...] the English ’summer’; Collingwood didn’t get out of single figures; Prior and Broad both battled beside Bopara but didn’t hang around for long enough (although in Broad’s [...]

  2.   sahil says:

    I am loathed to go return to it, but in 2005 Geraint Jones scored 229 runs @ 25.44 batting at seven.

    Though Broad should bat at 8, I think he could match those figures.

  3.   bgc says:

    If Flintoff can bat at 6 with a career average of 32 (and a lot less recently); then Broad can bat at 7 with an average of 29 (and likely to improve) - especially if Graeme Swann is at 8 (First class Av 27 - one better than Gilo). No probs.

  4.   Tony Bennett says:

    Never mind Broad, maybe Graeme Swann is an option for no. 7 now. He did score 183 at no. 7 for Northants v Glos in 2002 (albeit in a match with over 1600 runs in it - Mike Hussey 310*)

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