Ashes 2013: Stuart Broad can handle being ‘hate figure’ says captain Alastair Cook


If it starts to get ugly during the second Test, it is probable that the bloke with the baby face will be around. Stuart Broad always seems to be involved when it is all going off out there.

Alastair Cook, England’s captain, was obliged to leap to Broad’s defence yesterday after his reputation took another nosedive in the first Test. Broad was at the centre of heated  debate after he declined to walk in England’s second innings when replays showed he had edged the ball.

The fact that probably all 21 of the other players would not have admitted it – umpire Aleem Dar gave him not out – merely accelerated the rush of pundits to the moral high ground. Broad then compounded his felony on the last morning by appearing to waste time just before lunch, removing his boot for running repairs, to try to ensure that England did not have to bowl another over at an Australia side nearing their target.

Cook said: “He has always been a very combative cricketer and that is one of his great strengths. He is a great fighter. I think that is one of the reasons he has been so successful in international cricket.

“What happens off the field, whether you call him a hate figure or whatever, there is always one person on either side – it was Ricky Ponting a few years ago. If it is Broady, it’s Broady. He is a fine cricketer and he can deal with anything.”

Whether England care that it might affect how they are perceived by  supporters and neutral followers is doubtful. They know that what Broad brings to the side seems to make him a more effective cricketer.

He has the happy knack of rising above it, or at least of not being remotely affected. There have been several incidents over the years when he might have handled himself better on the field – the double teapot gesture to team-mates, his occasional gamesmanship towards opponents – but he has remained a feisty competitor.

“Every time he has fought for his place or been under pressure he has always delivered for us,” said Cook. “I am very surprised how much controversy it’s caused but the most important thing is that both sets of players don’t seem too fussed about it.”

Broad, who has recovered fully from the blow on the shoulder he took while batting in England’s first innings at Trent Bridge, was rampant at Lord’s last time out. He dismantled New Zealand’s second innings by taking 7 for 44, achieving bounce, movement and pace.

He has made a habit of this sort of spectacular spell throughout his Test career. Cook pointed out that at The Oval in 2009 Australia had reached 72 for 0 when Broad pounced with five quick wickets which helped  reduce them to 111 for 7 and eventually to 160 all out.

“That pretty much launched his Test career,” said Cook. “I think he wouldn’t be half the player he is without that edge he’s got. He loves the competition, it brings out the best in him and actually a lot of his spells when he has taken five wickets very quickly have come when England have needed them the most.”

Broad will probably open the bowling with Jimmy Anderson for the 30th time. His shoulder injury prevented him taking the new ball in Nottingham. Only Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard (33 occasions) and Brian Statham and Fred Trueman (35) have shared the new ball more often for England.

When they gel, England usually win. Broad is likely to become the 15th England bowler to reach 200 Test wickets during the match and if Anderson’s potent form continues, Australia will be in trouble.

Cook said: “Jimmy is our best bowler, his record suggests that, and there will be times he is bowled because he is our best bowler, but it is a dangerous thing to take the other guys lightly.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform