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  • England'S Lack Of Experience In Test Bowling Attack Could Be 'Quite Scary', Says Stuart Broad

England's lack of experience in Test bowling attack could be 'quite scary', says Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad believes England could find themselves with a "quite scary" lack of bowling experience once his old partner James Anderson joins him in retirement.

Anderson, the most prolific seamer in Test history, is set for a farewell appearance against the West Indies at Lord's in July, bowing out at the age of 41 as head coach Brendon McCullum looks to the future.

Broad departed in memorable fashion at the end of last year's Ashes, meaning England will soon be without a duo boasting an incomparable 1,304 wickets across 354 matches.

There are plenty of willing candidates to step up and answer McCullum's call but, with Chris Woakes now 35 and 34-year-old Mark Wood carefully managed to preserve his pace, captain Ben Stokes could soon find himself marshalling a conspicuously raw attack.

"You could easily go into a Test match this summer with a very, very inexperienced bowling group couldn't you?" Broad told the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.

"If you don't play Woakes and Mark Wood is having a rest… you could have three seamers and a spinner potentially out there with 20 caps between them. And that's quite scary, as a Test captain, I'd have thought.

"That could leave you a bit exposed. But there's only one way to find out with bowlers, and that's to give them a go, encourage them to communicate out there, encourage them to solve their problems live in a Test match. I think exposure for some bowlers now is really important because there's talent out there."

Broad went on to name a handful of up-and-comers who could thrive, including Matthew Potts, Gus Atkinson, Josh Tongue, Brydon Carse, Jamie Overton and Sam Cook.

"There's going to certainly be a huge hole left by Jimmy Anderson that someone is going to have to step into," he said.

"And not just by swinging the new ball. But by communicating, by keeping calm if the boundaries are leaking, by tactically being aware of what field works at certain grounds, pitches and times of Test matches. 

"Ultimately, you don't learn that unless you're thrown in. It’s not just about throwing caps away and saying 'have a go', you need to pick a bowling unit that can win on that particular pitch."

Broad shared memories of his years of service as Anderson's accomplice, during which they took more wickets in tandem than any other pair his history, and looked forward to sending his friend off in style at Lord's.

Broad penned a perfect finale at the Oval last year, ending his professional career with a wicket off his final delivery to draw the Ashes and wants Anderson to enjoy his lap of honour too.

"Jimmy won't see it like that. He'll just want to take wickets and win the game at Lord's," he said.

"But us cricket fans and friends of his will be able to see it as a bit of a celebration and have a great time. It's very difficult when you do hang up the boots, it's a very difficult decision to make, but he can't achieve anymore. There's nothing in the game that he's not done.

"He's been the ultimate bowler and the best we've ever produced. So he won't leave the game with any anguish of probably wanting to play anymore. I think deep down, he knows that he agrees with the decision."

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