London: The spearhead of England's pace attack but off-colour for quite a while now, Stuart Broad's place in the team is under threat for the opening Test against India starting July 21 at the Lord's.
Although his name figures in the squad announced for the match but he is facing stiff challenge from seamer Tim Bresnan for a place in the playing XI.
England coach Andy Flower has offered mild criticism for his performance this season. "I didn't think he bowled as badly as his figures suggested against Sri Lanka. I've got a lot of respect for Broad as a young cricketer," Flower was quoted as saying by the newspapers here.
"He's got pace and bounce and he's a great competitor - but he can be more accurate. I've heard some crazy stuff about him being - and I hate this word - an 'enforcer'. "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. It is not to be this ridiculous 'enforcer'," he added.
Flower said Broad, known for letting his temper get the better of him on many occasions, has to be more responsible about his behaviour. "He's passionate about playing for England but he has a responsibility to behave in the right way. He is perfectly well aware of it because he's smart. He must embrace that responsibility and act accordingly," he said.
Broad went back to county cricket last week to regain form ahead of the series. The pacer claimed six wickets for Nottinghamshire against Somerset but despite this, Flower
remained non-committal about whether Broad would be given a place in the side.
"We always select our best XI and Stuart has been a big part of that for the last few years. "That's the criteria we'll use when picking the side for Lord's. He's in the squad but we've yet to make a decision about the best XI," Flower said.