London, July 20: Stuart Broad may be relegated to a more subsidiary role in England's attack. The English seamer may have just taken a five-for for Nottinghamshire in a County Championship match against Somerset, but has been grappling for impact on the international scene of late.
Since Andrew Flintoff's retirement in Sep 2010, the mantle of aggressor had fallen on Broad who employed the bouncer to unsettle batsman while his fellow speedsters would rely more on pitching up the ball and swinging it.
However, now Broad is up against a very capable paceman in Tim Bresnan for a spot in the first Test against India at Lord's beginning July 21.
Thus, team captain Andy Flower is keen that Broad presently concentrate on bowling accurately and sticking to the basics of employing a challenging line and length.
"Broad's got pace and bounce and he's a great competitor, but he can be more accurate," he told the Guardian. "His job is to create pressure and to take wickets and to do that you generally bowl at off stump. So his job is not to rough up the opposition."
Flower said that Broad has been passed up for Jade Dernbach in the last ODI against Sri Lanka as the former had lost his groove and needed time to rediscover it. "We always select our best XI and Stuart has been a big part of that for the last few years", Flower said. "That's the criteria we'll use when picking the side for Lords. He's in the squad but we've yet to make a decision about the best XI."
Broad couldn't ensnare a wicket in three of the four ODIs he played against Sri Lanka, while leaking 70 runs in 10 overs in England's loss at Headingley.
India will play four Tests in England and the series is being touted the battle for the No. 1 ranking, with England needing to win by a margin of two to overtake India. Flower came to the defence of his team being vocal about its desire to be the top-ranked Test side, calling it not "arrogance" but a "natural goal".
"I find it strange that it's seen as overconfidence or an outlandish goal. Surely that's the goal you should have? Otherwise aren't you selling yourself and your country short?"