x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

All-rounder role is too broad for England's new Ashes hero, says Wells

Stuart Broad has got the potential to become a mainstay of England's burgeoning Test side - just do not call him the new Andrew Flintoff.

SHARJAH // Stuart Broad has got the potential to become a mainstay of England's burgeoning Test side - just do not call him the new Andrew Flintoff. Broad, who took 18 wickets and scored 234 runs in the series, said as much himself in the aftermath of England Ashes win, when he admitted "no-one can replace Freddie". It is a message backed by Colin Wells, the UAE coach and former England all-rounder who believes Glenn McGrath is a more realistic template for Broad to try to emulate than England's retiring talisman.

"It makes me chuckle a little because two Tests ago they were crying out for Broad to go, and now the media are hyping him as the next Botham/Flintoff," said Wells, who took 428 wickets and scored over 14,000 runs in a 318 match first-class career "It is amusing," he added. "He is a young bowler who has always been full of promise for me. "I watched him bowl in the West Indies, and he and Jimmy Anderson were the pick of our bowlers. Chris Gayle was struggling with both of them.

"Equally, [Broad's match-turning spell at the Oval] was a one-off session where you had a downpour of rain, then had swinging conditions and someone ran in and took five wickets. "That doesn't hail him as the next strike bowler, and I hope he doesn't lose sight of that and I hope England don't lose sight of that and they go back to role clarification. "They should identify him either as somebody who is going to be like Glenn McGrath, and bowl metronomically, or someone who is going to become a strike bowler.

"I don't think, during that whole series, Broad actually knew what his role was in the side. I think he was always striving for wickets, that's why he went for runs and there were calls for him to be dropped." @Email:pradley@thenational.ae