Following the success of West Indies skipper Jason Holder with the ball in the first innings, many opined that leaving Stuart Broad for the Southampton opener might prove to be the difference between the two sides. Five days since the decision, England have suffered a four-wicket loss, hence squandering the opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. But stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, despite the defeat, stood by his call and reckoned that England were fortunate to leave a bowler like Broad out of the playing XI.
It was the first time since 2012 that Broad has missed a home Test, stretching back to 51 consecutive matches. But Stokes was too eager to feature England's two fiery pacers - Mark Wood and Jofra Archer - in the playing XI in place of seasoned pacer Broad.
Broad had even expressed his frustration at his omission, admitting that the decision was too hard to comprehend for him. But would he have made a difference? In the last 28 Tests or so, he has only one five-wicket haul at home, one which goes back to 2015. Meanwhile, his replacements together finished with 1 for 135 in the first innings and 4 for 81 in the second.
"I don't regret leaving Stuart Broad out, and we are fortunate to leave someone like him out. I would be upset if he didn't show the passion he did in that interview, and he's nowhere near done. If he plays in the second Test I hope he walks off with some wickets. Pressure shows itself in different ways, and some hectic running goes on in the middle, and there are chances we didn't take," Stokes said after the defeat on Sunday.