Shane's Warne-ing for Broad
Shane Warne believes England would be making a mistake if they decide Stuart Broad should bat at seven in Test cricket.
Last Updated: 14/10/09 9:32am
Stuart Broad is not an international all-rounder. That's the verdict of Shane Warne, who believes England are in danger of ruining the 23-year-old.
Broad looks set to be asked to bat at seven in Test cricket this winter following the retirement of Andrew Flintoff after the Ashes win over Australia.
Warne, though, believes such a promotion would be a mistake, suggesting it could be "the worst thing to happen to the guy".
Writing in his column in The Times, the fomer Australia leg spinner believes Broad is better off being left down the order, giving him the chance to work on his bowling without the pressure of having to contribute runs as well.
"If England want to ruin Stuart Broad, it strikes me that they may be going the right way about it," he said in the newspaper.
"Somebody tell me that he won't bat at number seven for the Test series in South Africa. Looking at the squad announced last week, it looks as if the selectors may be leaning that way, when it could be the worst thing to happen to the guy.
"I'm not bagging Broad, because he has the makings of being a good player. He is a decent bowler and a reasonable batsman - just not an international all-rounder.
"By thinking that he is, England risk taking his focus away from what he is learning to do well, first and foremost to support frontline bowlers, then to chip in with runs."
England seem likely to turn to Broad to fill the sizeable void left by Flintoff's departure due to their desire to keep a five-man bowling attack.
However Warne thinks they would be better served picking six frontline batsmen in their starting XI to face South Africa this winter.
"The only time a team should go with five bowlers is when one of them is a genuine all-rounder," he continued.
"By that I mean a 'Freddie' Flintoff, although he was more of a No 7 than a 6 in the order. If England don't want to play Adil Rashid in South Africa, they have to go with Paul Collingwood at 6, Matt Prior at 7 and Broad at 8.
"That line-up, with Graeme Swann at 9, has depth. Moving Broad and Swann up a place alters things dramatically."
England's squad arrive in South Africa on November 1 for the one-day leg of the tour before beginning preparations for the four-Test series with the first of two warm-up fixtures in East London.