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England pace bowler James Anderson has defended fellow seamer Stuart Broad, who has faced an increasing amount of criticism for his disappointing performances with the ball.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan suggested that Broad be dropped for the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley on Friday in order to allow all-rounder Chris Woakes to come into the side.
However, Anderson feels it is unfair to drop Broad, who is England’s second-highest wicket-taker in the longest format behind Anderson.
“Obviously I’m going to say no,” Anderson was quoted as saying by The Independent when asked if he agreed with Vaughan’s comments. “We’ve 950 Test wickets between us. We’re doing the best we can for this team. We’re trying to perform well enough to turn this team around.
“I know we’ve been on a really bad run of form this winter and the first Test here and I think in these situations you need players to stand up and put in match-winning performances. We’ll try to block out the noise from whoever is shouting out.
“When you suffer a heavy defeat there’s always a lot of noise around. Lots more opinions come out. This has to be done; that has to be done.
“The outside noise is always there and it’s a bit louder when you perform badly. That’s something you’ve just got to deal with as a sportsman and block out as best you can.”
Meanwhile, Anderson admitted that England have to show some “heart” and “fight” in the second Test if they are to win at Headingley and end the series as a 1-1 draw.
“It’s going to take some special individual performances this week,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC. “If you get one or two individuals standing up, then people can piggyback on that and take confidence as well.
“It’s quite easy for the confidence of the team to take a hit when you have a defeat like that. So we’ll try, as well as using our skill, to use our heart, to use the fight we have in the dressing room to show people what we can do.
“You suffer a few defeats and you need something special to turn it around. That’s all we can focus on.”
Following the first Test at Lord’s, which Pakistan won by nine wickets, England head coach Trevor Bayliss said that his team should be a “little embarrassed” by their performance.
When asked if this was the case, Anderson said: “Obviously not enough. You almost throw your hands up sometimes.
“I’m not sure what he means. We’re talking a lot, trying to figure out what’s going wrong. As players, all we can do is try and deliver out on the field and we’ve not been doing that as a team.
“Trevor can’t come out there with us and tell us how to bowl. It’s up to us to take that responsibility on our shoulders.”