Joe Root, captain of England in Test match cricket, says Stuart Broad is one of the nation’s best.

Broad has returned to the team for the third Test in Sri Lanka having been left out of the opening two games.

The game-plan of selecting three spinners has left James Anderson and Stuart Broad competing for a solitary place in the side.

Root insists England will continue to monitor conditions and use the duo smartly.

"They both look on top of their game at the moment, if you ask me,” he said.

“They're bowling fantastically well and keep looking to improve and get better. As far as I'm concerned, I want to get the most out of them for as long as we can.

"I'm very aware how talented the group is and how talented our two senior guys are. 

“We generally get very excited about wishing people into retirement and I think with those two in particular, we have to make the most of them while we can, be smart about managing and see how long they can go for.”

For Broad, the Third Test in Sri Lanka represents an opportunity to return to where his life as a red ball international began.

The 32-year-old made his debut at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground back in 2007. 

He took 1-95 in a run-fest, but has since taken his tally of wickets to 433 at the highest level of the game – putting him second to Anderson on the all-time list.

Broad’s international captain is backing the long-serving Outlaw, who signed for the green and gold’s in 2008, to add plenty more to his tally. 

"You look at the experience he can bring to the team and his record in English conditions, and what he's capable of there, and he's invaluable,” said Root.

"He's still one of England's best bowlers - I genuinely believe that - but we've had to be quite cute and smart about exploiting these conditions here and we'll have to do the same later on in the winter in the West Indies.

"It's a great luxury to have isn't it? For that amount of experience to be around the squad and offering so much to the group has been excellent.

"We've played in conditions where we've not needed that much seam bowling in the middle but [Broad's] been raring to go and doing everything he can.

“He's got the opportunity to play this week and I'm sure he'll be desperate to put in a really strong performance and show he's very skilful in these conditions.

“Stuart is more than capable of doing that and we know if we can take two or three early wickets on unresponsive wickets for seam bowling, it'll be a massive bonus, which, again, you'd like to think he'll be able to do.

“It's a great opportunity for him to play this game. And hopefully he can do some damage."


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