Broad confident England can beat Australia

Stuart Broad still rates Australia the world's best one-day team - but believes England's vast improvement under Andy Flower means they are capable of beating the old enemy.

Broad, back for the NatWest Series after missing two home Tests against Bangladesh to undergo 'intensive strengthening', is itching to get back on the pitch for his country.



The pace bowler, sure to get his chance in the forthcoming five-match ODI series, traces the "turnaround" in England's 50-over fortunes to a summit meeting between coach Flower and his team in Johannesburg last year.



It came just before the Champions Trophy campaign - England reached the semi-finals before being trounced by Australia - and after a 6-1 humbling at home to the same opponents.



The results, Broad believes, are there for all to see in a team who have since won ODI series in South Africa and Bangladesh under Andrew Strauss' captaincy and then beaten the world for the first time in their history, in the 20-over format in the West Indies last month - with Paul Collingwood in charge on the field.



The common factor throughout has been coach Flower.



"We're playing fantastic cricket," said Broad.



"We've beaten Australia in Test match and Twenty20 format but, last time we played them in one-day cricket, we struggled.



"I think we can really improve on that performance; we've changed our one-day cricket around since then."



Even so, Broad is not about to argue with the evidence of the International Cricket Council rankings - which place Australia top and England fifth.



"I certainly think Australia are the best one-day team in the world, so it will be great to test ourselves against the best," he said.



"We've got some exciting players, and there's no reason why we can't give them a great run for their money.



"I think it's important we focus on the strengths we've built over the past seven months - powerful, fearless batting and great planning with the ball."



The new ethos did not evolve; Flower's sudden change of tack was much closer to a revolution, hastened by his frustrations at England's apparently habitual ODI haplessness.



"Andy was obviously hugely disappointed with the performance in the one-day series against Australia (last September)," added Broad.



"I think we've turned that round. The backing of the captain and coach means we can play fearless cricket. Gone are the days of, if you have two or three low scores, your place comes under threat.



"The captain and the coach are saying 'You're the person to take this team forward - we back you to play the way you play, go and do it'.



"The players are thriving on that."



Broad still remembers Flower's life-changing pep talk.



"Andy had his views, and everyone respected what he said," added Broad.



"He's had a huge part to play in the turnaround of England one-day cricket.



"There's certainly a change of mind-set - batsmen can go out and express themselves without having to feel they must get their 30 or 40 to stay in the team.



"Craig Kieswetter comes into his first big-stage tournament and is hitting balls out of the park in the first over of the game.



"That's a strong place for a cricketing team to be in. It's a purely mental thing, because players in the past have been able to do that - it is having the backing to go and do it."



There has already been another success story for the Flower regime this summer.



While Broad sat out England's 2-0 Test victory over Bangladesh, his replacement Steve Finn was named man of the series.



Between them, the pair are 13 feet tall - and naturally therefore bring similar attributes to the attack.



But Broad believes they can complement one another in a pace battery which may prove the envy of the world.



He added: "He's an exciting bowler; he probably bowls a little bit shorter than me, a bit more (Steve) Harmison-like.



"He's a fantastic prospect, and I'm really excited about getting on the park with him."



Broad also gave Strauss his personal and the team's collective support, following last week's surprising - and short-lived - speculation that the opener's ODI captaincy credentials may be under scrutiny.



"Straussy has played fantastic one-day cricket over the past year," said Broad.



"He's a fantastic captain to play under, a really good leader - and he deserves his place in the one-day side.



"Certainly within the four walls of the changing room there's never been any doubt he's the man to lead us to the World Cup next year.



"As long as all the people in the changing room think he's the man to do the job - and we all certainly do - that's the main thing."



News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own