Broad: ‘I’m itching to get out there against Pakistan at Lord’s on Thursday’

Stuart Broad ready Pakistan Test series England cricket

Stuart Broad is determined to make his presence felt against Pakistan at Lord’s on Thursday

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England pace bowler Stuart Broad has admitted that he is relishing the challenges that await him and his team in the upcoming two-Test series against Pakistan, which begins on Thursday at Lord’s.

Broad admitted that he is feeling in good nick coming into the series, and is confident that he will excel with the ball.

“Since the Sydney Test, I’ve picked up 25 wickets in five games for England and Nottinghamshire, and a lot of that is down to the fact that I am now backing myself to bowl a fuller, more attacking length,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. “I now know I can beat the right-handers on both sides of the bat, because my wrist is behind the ball and I’m hitting the seam. Because of my height, that makes me a dangerous proposition.

“I’m itching to get out there against Pakistan at Lord’s on Thursday.”

Broad admitted that over the past few years, he has devoted too much time on how to succeed when bowling to left-handed batsmen.

He pointed out that while he needs to focus on troubling right-handed batsmen, he doesn’t want to lose the ability to bowl to left-handers.

“I think I’d spent so much time over the past few years bowling to left-handers, especially from round the wicket, that I’d got into the habit of only bringing the ball back in to the right-handers, not moving it away from them,” he wrote. “I don’t want to lose that skill of bowling to the lefties, but equally I needed to rediscover my old threat.

“Paul Franks, our assistant coach at Notts, summed it up quite well. He said I was bowling like a 23-year-old Stuart Broad — but with more experience. I like the sound of that.”

Meanwhile, Broad admitted that he is excited about wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler being recalled to the Test team.

Buttler has not played Test cricket since England’s tour of India in December 2016, but he has been in exceptional form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), where he scored five half-centuries in a row for the Rajasthan Royals, which equalled the tournament record set by legendary India batsman Virender Sehwag back in 2012.

“One of those IPL guys is Jos Buttler — and, as we’ve seen with his five fifties in a row for Rajasthan Royals, there’s no doubting his talent,” Broad wrote. “He’s a wonderful guy to have around: he has this quiet confidence, and he speaks very well in front of the group when he has to.

“Some people have wondered whether he’d prefer to stay in India, but I spoke to him after the squad was announced on Tuesday and he was over the moon. It’s an exciting thing for Test cricket for a guy of his white-ball skills to be playing the five-day game again.

“I’ve always believed Test performances are about 80 per cent character and 20 per cent technique. It’s about having a toughness, a competitiveness, a stubbornness. Jos has all three. And just imagine what he’ll do from No 7 if the Pakistan bowlers are into their third spells and getting tired. It could be a lot of fun — and it’s good to have him back.”

Broad has also backed veteran opener Alastair Cook to enjoy a lot of success with the bat.

Cook struggled throughout the Ashes against Australia and the two-Test series against New Zealand that followed, but there was one bright spot for him, which came during the Boxing Day Test against the Baggy Greens, where he scored a superb 244 not out.

“Speaking of stubbornness, don’t be surprised if Alastair Cook scores big runs this summer,” Broad wrote. “I know the winter hurt him a lot, despite that double hundred in Melbourne, which was my Ashes highlight.

“But a few of us were doing the yo-yo test on Thursday, the modern version of the bleep test, and Cooky just wouldn’t give up. I had to stop, and was virtually throwing up at the side, but he just kept on running – a bit like Forrest Gump.

“Sometimes, you don’t need to see a net session or runs in the middle to be convinced someone’s up for it, and I just looked at him and thought he’s going to have a good summer.

“Cooky’s never going to win a sprint, but when it comes to endurance there’s no one to match him. He just doesn’t give up.”

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