Stuart Broad form an 'issue' for England ahead of third Test against India
England prepare for third Test with series level 1-1
Tuesday 27 November 2012
Stuart Broad's lacklustre bowling form is an “issue” England need to confront as they seek to consolidate their famous second-Test win over India.
Alastair Cook's tourists yesterday levelled the four-match series with a 10-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium, where Kevin Pietersen and the captain's centuries and Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann's wickets were too much for the hosts.
Hopes are therefore raised that they can become the first England team since 1984-85 to win a Test series in India.
An atmosphere of renewed confidence is evident throughout the team, with the exception of vice-captain Broad - who declared himself fit for the second Test, despite feeling unwell the day beforehand, and then managed only 12 wicketless overs at a cost of 60 runs.
England bowling coach David Saker is doing all he can to help Broad rediscover his best form in time for the third Test in Kolkata - a match which could yet instead feature Steven Finn.
The latter was today set to test his recovery from a thigh strain, in a three-day match for the England Performance Programme squad against the DY Patil Academy in Mumbai.
As for Broad, Saker said: "It is a bit of an issue.
"He has not bowled as we would have liked. But he's not the first bowler to come over here and find it hard."
Even some of the world's best all-time pace bowlers have struggled, in fact, to be effective in sub-continental conditions.
Saker added: "Stuart's not a great yet. He has to learn ways to become great.
"If he gets the next Test he has to be ready for it.
"During my tenure as bowling coach, I haven't had too many players down in confidence and form. "I hope I can do some stuff over the next few days that can help."
It looks very much as though 2015 will be a good year for the world economy, after all – and, if it is, that will be thanks to the fall in the oil price. It won't be good for everyone and we have already seen the pressure it puts on the Russian leadership – though, before you conclude that sometimes there is natural justice in the world, remember that the people who are hurt are not leaders such as Vladimir Putin. Other oil- and gas-exporting countries are damaged, too, and I think we will see further fallout in unpredictable ways. But the net impact is strongly positive, more so than most commentators at present acknowledge. The winners far outnumber the losers.
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