Stuart Broad: England 'hungry' to salvage pride ahead of three-match Twenty20 series
Tuesday 28 January 2014
After spending the last 12 weeks being battered and bruised at the hands of Australia, Stuart Broad could be forgiven for wishing he was already back at home.
Yet with the Test and one-day international captain, Alastair Cook, now out of the firing line, Broad has the opportunity to salvage some lost pride as he leads England in the three-match Twenty20 series, which begins on Wednesday morning in Hobart.
Broad was one of few tourists to emerge from the disastrous Test series with his reputation relatively undiminished, taking 24 wickets and averaging almost 20 with the bat despite some poor dismissals. He was rested for the first two matches of the ODI series but returned to help England record their only win of the tour to date in the fourth match and has now been earmarked by coach Ashley Giles to replace Cook as one-day captain for next month's short tour to the West Indies.
Before then, though, Broad's mind is set on gaining revenge as England begin in earnest their preparations for March's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
"It would be huge [to win the series]," he said. "England cricket has been through a tough three months. There are a lot of hurt players because we have not done ourselves justice on the field. There is a real hunger in this group to finish this tour well."
Along with Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Tim Bresnan and Boyd Rankin, Broad is one of five players who have remained in Australia for the entire tour, having first arrived at the end of October. He has only lost two T20 series since being named captain in May 2011, a run that includes victories over India, and with Cook's position as one-day captain under the spotlight ahead of next year's World Cup, this will be a chance to enhance his credentials further.
The presence of the T20 specialists Alex Hales, Luke Wright and Michael Lumb, added to the in-form Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, should give England the chance to build a platform against an Australia side who will be missing big guns David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, while James Faulkner has also been ruled out after knee surgery.
"We've got some unbelievable strikers in our side," Broad said. "If we can lay a platform with the likes of Lumb, Hales, Wright, and see how they strike a ball, and then you've got Morgan and Buttler coming in, it's a pretty scary batting line-up."
One name missing from the team sheet is Kevin Pietersen, who has been named in the provisional 30-man World Twenty20 squad. Unsurprisingly, however, Broad refused to be drawn over his future.
"I think you can see from my position it would be hard to comment on that," he said. "The focus is purely on what we do in Australia and once we've got these three games, and hopefully a series win, under our belt we can focus on planning more on the World Twenty20."
England (possible team): M J Lumb, A D Hales, L J Wright, E J G Morgan, R S Bopara, J C Buttler (wk), B A Stokes, S C J Broad (capt), C J Jordan, J C Tredwell, J W Dernbach.
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