Ian Botham has his say on Stuart Broad's England form after Vaughan criticism

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There's been doubts over England's Stuart Broad and James Anderson after the bowlers had been criticised by ex-captain Michael Vaughan, suggesting one of them should be axed after losing the first Test to Pakistan last week.

But they responded in style over the weekend by sharing 11 wickets as England destroyed Pakistan at Headingley by an innings and 55 runs.

The pair certainly set-out to make a point, and got the attention of Sky Sports pundit Sir Ian Botham.

Both before and during the Test, Vaughan had been particularly critical of Broad but Botham believes both of England's strike-bowlers 'proved they have plenty more to give' as he gave his opinion in a column for Sky Sports.

"Broad was fantastic in both innings at Lord's and Jimmy got better and better as the game went on, and I thought they were both excellent here again," he wrote.

"They kept the ball up and that's what caused all of the problems early on. Batsmen had to play at the ball early on and they either nicked it, got bowled or got trapped in front.

"Once you knock the stuffing out of the top-order on a surface like this and you're looking down an endless tube with nowhere to go, Pakistan were up against it. They applied the pressure and they forced the result."

Botham agrees pre-match was over-logical

Broad said that he felt like some of the pre-match 'was over-logical' - and he isn't the only one that felt this way.

England v Pakistan: 2nd Test - Day Three

Botham has sided with the current bowler and felt Vaughan's criticism after the first Test loss was 'unjustified'.

He added: "I don't know why he got criticism after Lord's - I thought he was the best bowler in the England side. Why some of the guys wrote about him like that, I don't know.

"I thought he was the pick of the bowlers again at Headingley on day one; his pace was back up, his hand was behind the ball and his lengths were good.

"So that criticism was very unjustified, very unfair and unnecessary. He looks good - it's almost like turning the clock back a couple of years. I think he's got a lot more to offer England.


"It's all well and good people saying leave him or him out, but who are you going to replace them with? Unless I'm missing something, there aren't many people waiting to make the step up from county cricket.

"Alastair Cook has looked good in this series after a tough time in Australia and Broad has proved that you can teach an old dog a new trick after he went off to work on his wrist position.

"Bairstow has done well and bringing in Buttler is good, so when you look at it the core of the side is pretty solid. What England should be thinking now is - if something should happen to the two strike bowlers - who is going to come in and fill those boots, and they are massive boots to fill!"

The toss on day one had a lot to play?

England's victory in the second match of the Test series proved to be a switch in fortunes for both sides after Pakistan convincingly won the first Test at Lord's in just over three days.

England v Pakistan: 2nd Test - Day Three

However, despite an outstanding performance from the tourists as they played at the 'Home of Cricket', Botham said that England played right into their hands from the start.

"I go back to the toss on the first day - England won the toss and for some reason decided to bat when they had perfect overhead conditions and a green pitch." he continued.

"It was almost, in my opinion, as though they were thinking 'we're only playing a young Pakistan side so we can do it that way'.

"I was a bit disappointed they didn't take the initiative then - doing so would have been to have bowled, and to have bowled Pakistan out."

England cricket
Pakistan cricket
James Anderson (cricket)
Stuart Broad

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