Stuart Broad is advancing his reputation as a potential England player almost as fast as he is growing. The 19-year-old Leicestershire player has added two inches to his already lanky frame over the winter and an inch since January. He now stands at 6ft 6in with more still to come. Yesterday he climbed another rung on his career ladder by taking five wickets in a Championship innings for the first time.
Given that two thirds of the England selectors were in attendance it was not a bad time to do it. David Graveney, chairman of the three-man panel, and his lieutenant, Geoff Miller, cannot fail to have been impressed. But then, having starred for England's Under-19s and earned a call-up to England A's winter tour to the West Indies, Broad has been advertising his talents over the last 12 months. Playing less than half a season's worth of Championship cricket, he still managed 27 wickets.
Broad can bat, as would be expected of someone whose father opened for England in 25 Tests. The genetic inheritance is confirmed when he takes a left-handed guard. Indeed, it was that part of his game that led him to be recommended to Leicestershire. But it is his abilities in the pace bowling discipline, where his right arm comes to the fore, that are currently catching the eye.
He dismisses good batsmen, too. Having accounted for Jon Batty and Ally Brown on Wednesday, when he also had Mark Ramprakash dropped, he added Mark Butcher to his tally with only his seventh delivery yesterday, nipping one back to uproot when the England left-hander's off stump.
The wickets of Rikki Clarke and James Ormond gave him figures of 5 for 94 as Surrey went from 320 for 4 overnight to 370 all out. None the less, with Leicestershire all out for 244, given substance only by John Maunders's hard-working 87 and Darren Maddy's breezy 43, the visitors enter day three well on top.Reuse content