Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“I had prepared myself for a little bit of stick and boos but I quite enjoyed it”
England pace bowler Stuart Broad is still buzzing after taking a five-wicket haul on the first day of the first Ashes Test against arch-rivals Australia in Brisbane.
Broad, who has been the centre of attention in the Australian media after refusing to walk during the first Ashes Test in Trent Bridge in July, was also pleased to have silenced his critics.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of build up to this tour and a lot of talk, but we know within the changing room it is about preparing ourselves for the skills you need for Test cricket,” Broad told Sky Sports. “I think we put everything else aside and just focused on that.
“After losing the toss on what I felt was a belting batting wicket, to take eight wickets in a day we have put ourselves in a really strong position.
“I had prepared myself for a little bit of stick and boos but I quite enjoyed it.
“It was nice to come away with picking up some wickets as it was one of those days where you could doubt yourself and walk away with 0-100 after getting abused all day so it feels better to have five-fer.
“The Aussies are good sports fans. They want to see tough, hard cricket. They like to give the opponents a bit of stick but they appreciate good sport.”
Australia were looking down and out at 132/6, but vice-captain Brad Haddin and left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson put together a 114-run partnership to steady the innings.
Despite Haddin and Johnson’s valiant resistance, Broad believes that England had a “good day”.
“We have had a good day as an England side, we are really chuffed with it,” he said. “It’s been hard work. We’ve not been used to these conditions on this trip so there are a lot of tired guys in the changing room but some very happy ones.”
Broad picked up the first four wickets of the match and really troubled the Australian batsmen with his short-pitched deliveries.
“The short ball has always been a strength of mine, I feel I have decent control of the height I can get it,” Broad said. “With the two short legs it was a bit of a plan early doors and I managed to get it spot on, so I am delighted that it worked.”
Johnson, who ended up becoming Broad’s fifth victim, admitted that the 27-year-old pace bowler had “ripped through” the Australian line-up, but added that “we fought back really hard”.
“Stuart Broad ripped through us at the start but we fought back really hard,” Johnson said. “Brad and myself put on a nice partnership of 100 and that was a really important part of the day.
“We are definitely back in the game. We’ve got a morning to bat. We’re 273 and, with a slow outfield, I think we are about where we should be with all those wickets down.
“It is very important tomorrow to score some more runs, get over the 300-mark and then assess things from there.”
Speaking about his record-breaking partnership with Haddin, Johnson said: “I kept it pretty clear in my mind to have good intent. When there was a bad ball there I just tried to score off it but when they bowled the good balls I just defended or played the right shots.
“That was our plan, we kept it pretty simple. It was nice to bat with Brad, we’ve had some good times out in the middle.”