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Strauss defends Anderson and Broad omissions

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Andrew Strauss believes England will reap the benefits of their selection policy at Edgbaston when they come to take on South Africa in three Investec Tests later this summer.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad were omitted for the final five-day match against West Indies, with Strauss' men having already secured the three-match series and Wisden Trophy courtesy of victories at Lord's and Trent Bridge.

In the absence of England's two senior pace bowlers, Graham Onions and Steven Finn were handed a chance to impress and responded with a combined total of seven wickets.

Although Strauss revealed Broad was initially set to play before the first two days fell victim to the inclement weather in Birmingham, the Test captain is comfortable with how things panned out.

"One of the things about missing a couple of your senior players is it makes you realise what role they do play in the side, as well as allowing you to see what role the other guys could play," he reasoned. "I think the picture is a lot clearer now.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad & Andrew Strauss

"One of the things about missing a couple of your senior players is it makes you realise what role they play," Andrew Strauss, right, said

"We came to this Test match with every intention of Stuart Broad playing and it was a last-minute thing that he didn't play in the end.

"In a way, although we didn't play brilliantly, I am very comfortable and happy that we made that decision, because it will serve us well come the South Africa series.

"Onions and Finn both showed that they are definitely Test-quality bowlers and they offer a lot in a number of areas."

Although Onions and Finn drew praise from Strauss, the skipper acknowledged England were not at their best as Tino Best and Denesh Ramdin ran riot in a 10th-wicket stand of 143 on the fourth morning.

However, Strauss moved swiftly to rule out suggestions that his team cannot function without Anderson, their spearhead in recent times.

"I think we can be effective without Jimmy," he said. "For us a lot of it was about getting Finn and Onions back in the side; I think they both deserved to be back in the side.

"Clearly the most important thing was allowing Jimmy, in particular, and, given the final decision that we took, Broady as well to have a bit of a rest and recuperate before the one-day series.

"I'm sure that Jimmy will be full of beans and ready to go come that one-day series, as will Stuart, and as a Test side I think we've learned a little more about the balance of our bowling attack and what each of our bowlers brings to the party in different conditions."

Developing on the reasons for leaving out Broad, Strauss added: "He was struggling a bit with a cold, he was a bit down and, given that it was a three-day game, I personally felt the first day was going to be the most important if we were going to force a result.

"Given that he wasn't going to be quite at 100%, and we had a ready-made replacement in Finn, it allowed us to make that decision to rest him."

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