Ashes 2015: England cannot rely on being so lucky at Lord's, says Stuart Broad

'We won the toss, Joe Root got dropped, and a few decisions went our way'

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The Independent Online

Stuart Broad played some of his finest cricket when he took three Australia wickets on Saturday to ensure the first Ashes Test would not be anything other than an unlikely and resounding England victory.

But ahead of the second Test at Lord’s on Thursday, he cautioned that England’s huge victory – by 169 runs – had come with a large share of luck, which cannot be relied on to come again.

“We won the toss, Joe Root got dropped, and a few decisions went our way,”  Broad said. “We’re well aware we had a bit of the rub of the green. That happens in cricket, and it might not be the same this week. We will have to work hard to get a win.”

Rather than being a clear sign of a resurgent England team, the victory fits into the team’s erratic pattern of results this summer. “This group of players won in the Caribbean, then lost the next one. We won against New Zealand at Lord’s and then lost at Headingley. We’ve got a huge amount of motivation to put those results right,” Broad added.

 

“It all starts on Thursday. We need to get into the game and start well. Having been in a team who have lost the first Test and are all up for winning the next one – if a team comes out and just hits you straight away, it can be quite deflating. So we need to start well.”

That victory in Cardiff came so quickly for England will be a big help. “We have had back-to-back Tests before where we’ve had 200 overs in the field. That leaves you knackered. On Saturday we fielded about 60 overs. It’s not taken too much out of the bodies. We are fresh and ready to go. Back-to-back Tests will suit us,  I’m sure.”

Broad, now 29 and eight years into his Test career, is a rarity in English cricket in that his best figures have been against Australia. Better, even, than for Bangladesh. “I grew up on Ashes cricket. I like the battle of it I suppose. My stats are a bit better against Australia than my career stats, which is quite rare. I don’t know what it is, I just enjoy it. The Aussies will always challenge you in different ways.

“They like to have a bit of banter with you, which maybe steels me up a bit and gets me into a battle. You always want to test yourself against the best and they’re the best team around. It makes me tick.”

Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris, who was forced to announce his retirement from cricket just days before the start of the first Test, said he expects their bowling attack to improve at Lord’s.

“We didn’t start well, England dominated with the ball,” he said. “But we got better towards the end of the game and that was encouraging. [Mitchell] Starc started putting them in the right area. [Mitchell] Johnson couldn’t intimidate as we would have liked on that wicket but he managed to swing the ball and bowl at decent pace. I think [Josh] Hazlewood got better as the game went on.

“With Johnson, the thing that excites me is he is bowling good pace. It’s not up at 96 miles an hour, but the wickets don’t allow that.For me, it’s him swinging the ball really nicely, and hitting a good length. He’s accurate, he’s swinging the ball at good pace. When he gets it right it’s going to be interesting to see.”

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