English cricket truly is all sweetness and light at the moment. The World Twenty20 victory last month has been followed by a comprehensive Test series victory over Bangladesh and the spirit of positivity that pervades the English game is a wonder to behold. Stuart Broad, who played in the Caribbean but not against Bangladesh, added to the general good feeling yesterday with a tribute to Steve Finn, England's hero in this most recent series.
Middlesex fast bowler Finn, 21, was named England man of the series after taking 15 wickets. Broad, no grandad himself at the age of 23, said: "It's fantastic to see. He's a great talent and he has all the attributes to be a fantastic bowler. It's great to see England developing a stable of bowlers who can come in and perform. When the pressure's on, players play at their best and that can only help England win."
Broad is likely to return to the England fold for their upcoming one-day matches against Scotland, Australia and Pakistan while Finn sits out. The team will be led by Andrew Strauss, who is returning as Test and one-day captains this summer after missing the tour of Bangladesh earlier this year.
During his absence Alastair Cook captained in both the Test and one-day arena while Paul Collingwood guided England to World Twenty20 success. Any suggestions Strauss might be moved aside in all limited-overs cricket have, however, been dismissed by coach Andy Flower.
Broad added: "Obviously Andrew Strauss will come straight back into the side – he's the one-day international captain and he's performed fantastically well over the past year since he's come back into the side.
"We all know what he can do at one-day international cricket. He's a dangerous left-handed batter so he can keep the balance. There's no doubt in the changing room that he fits that role perfectly and I'm looking forward to playing under him next week. He's very confident in his one-day cricket and all of his players are in his ability."
England play five one-day internationals against Australia, a series which starts later this month. Broad sees the games a chance to continue building confidence rather than a key staging post ahead of next winter's Ashes. He said: "The players aren't looking as far as the Ashes yet. "We've got an important summer ahead with four important Tests where we can build momentum."