Stuart Broad could prove key for England in testing conditions


Stuart Broad will inevitably play a pivotal role as England seek to regroup under a new captain, reacquaint themselves with their most talented batsman and restate their Test match credentials in exacting conditions.

For much of the two-month summer stand-off between Kevin Pietersen and his England and Wales Cricket Board employers, Broad was portrayed as one of the senior players with whom the prodigal batsman must make his peace in order to be "reintegrated".

If that version of events was accurate, it was one which rarely chimed with Broad's public utterances - before or after his statement, via ECB, that he had no direct connection with the spoof Twitter account which sent up Pietersen and reportedly aggravated an already sensitive situation.

Either way, Broad - like Pietersen - has a core business to address in India over the next two months.

Under Alastair Cook, about to cut his teeth as a permanent Test captain on one of the most arduous tours, Broad and Pietersen are two key constituents in a collective cause.

They will have significant influences on whether England enjoy their Indian mission, on and off the field.

Pietersen is a sub-Continental traveller of note and experience, thanks to the Indian Premier League; Broad, slightly less so, will arrive determined to embrace an environment which has rarely brought out the best in his compatriots on recent tours - and to continue the mid-career consolidation of his talents, with bat as well as ball.

"You're never satisfied," said the 26-year-old.

"I'm lucky to be in the position I'm in, but I'm not satisfied with where I am. You've always got to push for further."

England will need the same intent after a patchy 12 months in which they lost their world number one status against South Africa.

"The past year has personally been quite a successful one," said Broad.

"In the UAE (3-0 defeat against Pakistan last winter) I picked up a decent amount of wickets, and it was an honour to be named in the ICC Test team of the year.

"But as a team, we didn't have that successful a year.

"I didn't contribute with the bat as much as I could have done, so that's a real focus for me. I want to put both parts of my game together.

"I seem to have gone through my career having runs with the bat or ball, but not together. My next short-term goal is to squeeze both those attributes together."

To that end, Broad will be using his time wisely - and drinking in some culture too.

"Being an all-rounder, you spend a bit more time in the nets. But playing so much, you must balance your time well - because you've got five days' slog coming up.

"Maybe I need to be more efficient with the time I train for my bowling.

"As a team, we must embrace the country.

"The last Test I went on there (in 2008) was when those terrible Mumbai attacks happened.

"We were on real lockdown with armed guards outside our rooms, so we didn't really get to see any of India.

"This time we must use our time well, train and play well, but also get away from cricket, see parts of India and experience parts of the culture.

"When you have that attitude to touring a country, it helps you embrace the tour.

"In Australia (in the 2010/11 Ashes victory) we got out, met people and saw the country. That helps you settle into the country.

"That's something we could do early on to help us, because we have quite a lot of time there before the Tests.

"Having the three warm-up games there also allows us to adjust to the conditions. So there will be no excuses not to be ready when the first Test comes."

However they prepare, England will not be under-estimating opponents they trounced 4-0 at home on their way to the top of the world but whom they have not beaten in India for 28 years.

"We know what a dangerous team they are in India - they haven't lost a Test series there for ages," added Broad.

"We know the challenge will be a big one and we'll have to score big in the first innings, because the wicket will get harder to bat on.

"The conditions are very different to what we play in. The wickets are slow and lower and do turn a bit more.

"If you ask an Indian player touring England, they'll say it swings and nibbles around - whereas in India it doesn't.

"We're not particularly used to those conditions, but we've got a touring squad with lots of experience who have been there before.

"It's an exciting place to tour, and we know how passionate India is about its cricket team. It's important we embrace the challenge and enjoy the tour."

Broad and England will travel with confidence, not just mere hope.

"We are capable of winning in India," he added. "The UAE tour gave us quite a lot of excitement, knowing that for the first time in quite a long time there's a real belief that we can take 20 wickets on the sub-Continent.

"We did it consistently in Dubai on slow, low wickets. If we score the runs then I believe we will do well in India.

"That's the responsibility of the whole team."


Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Not quite what they were expecting

When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires

Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal at the Golden Globes in 2011
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

Th Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up