Strauss 'distraught' for injured Broad
Andrew Strauss’ pleasure at winning the second Ashes Test at Adelaide was tempered by devastation that paceman Stuart Broad will play no further part in the tour.
Broad suffered a torn abdominal muscle yesterday and was unable to take part today as England completed an innings-and-71-run victory to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
The seamer, who is out of the Ashes and the one-day series in Australia that follows, will soon fly home with the aim of recovering for the World Cup, which starts in February.
The tourists learned of the severity of Broad’s injury yesterday and Strauss revealed the 24-year-old’s reaction to the news.
“It was pretty clear last night that that was what was likely to happen so I had a couple of words with him," the captain said.
“He’s distraught and I think we’re all distraught that he’s going to be leaving us because he’s a big part of our side not just on the field but off the field too.
“He’s been one of the mainstays of our bowling attack for a while now. He’s got all the right ingredients to bowl well in Australia as well.
“We’re devestated for him but the show moves on and those other three have got the chance to stake a claim and have a big impact on the series themselves now.”
The “other three” Strauss refers to are Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett - the seamers in England’s squad who are yet to play in this Ashes series.
They are likely to have the chance to compete for a place in the third Test at Perth during the three-day tour match against Victoria in Melbourne, starting on Friday.
Before turning his attention to that game, though, Strauss was keen to celebrate today’s triumph to an appropriate degree.
“We know the game of cricket, and we know it’s got a horrible way of biting you if you start patting yourself on the back too much,” he warned, before contrasting this result to defeat at Adelaide in 2006-07.
“We need to enjoy this and savour it, because it was a special victory for us - in some ways it kind of exorcised some of the demons from four years ago here.
“But it’s back to square one again - we’ve got a three-day game in Melbourne, we need to keep the momentum going there - it’s important that we don’t let Australia back in the series now.”
Strauss knows the best way of preventing Australia retaliation is a repeat performance of England’s first win by an innings Down Under since they last returned home with the Ashes almost a quarter of a century ago.
“We never gave them a look-in in the game; we’re very pleased with what we’ve done this week - especially on the back of the last couple of days at Brisbane. And we’ve got some great momentum in the series now and need to keep it going,” he added.
The skipper took particular satisfaction from a team performance at the Adelaide Oval, in which every member contributed.
“We’ve been a very tight unit for the last couple of years now really and we’re seeing guys that are getting used to winning and used to celebrating each other’s success and that’s a great thing,” he observed.
“What I would say is that at the start of the series we said ‘the only way we’d win the Ashes is through 11 guys performing’.
“We can’t rely on one or two and we’ve seen some good performances from a number of different people so far on this tour and we’re in a good position now because a lot of out batters are batting well and our bowlers are in good form.
”But we need to make sure that we don’t take our foot off the pedal because we know that Australia are going to come back at us hard and we know if we give them any sort of way back into the series, they’ll take it.
Man of the match Kevin Pietersen, who struck a Test-best 227, concurred with Strauss about the tourists’ all-round display.
“It’s been a long time coming because there’s a few of the players who have been in nick and then a couple who have been out of nick and I can honestly say that all our players are in nick at the moment,” Pietersen enthused.
“You can see by the way (Matt) Prior batted at seven yesterday, he’s in pretty good nick as well. It’s just a case of waiting for your opportunity to bat. When you get that opportunity you try and take it.”
Pietersen who, like Strauss, tasted defeat four at Adelaide four years ago, savoured their first Test win in Australia.
“The best feeling is walking into the dressing rooms having won this Test match,” he added.
“Four years ago was a very, very horrible dressing room to walk into, a quiet dressing room, a very negative dressing room - and not as united as the dressing room is at the moment.
“Individual performances obviously add to a team victory, and I think the team victory today is incredible. It’s the best feeling, no matter who takes the wickets or who gets the runs.
“A victory in Australia, I haven’t had one; Straussy hasn’t had one in Test match cricket. It’s a great feeling.
“We’re going to enjoy it but we’re not going to get complacent because we know as soon as complacency sets in, as ‘Straussy’ says, it bites you.
“The good things English cricket has been doing over the last few months or years is we haven’t been complacent and we’re on our jobs.”