Broad Snr urges Stuart to kick on
England all-rounder Stuart Broad has been challenged to prove his worth as a top-class batsman - by his own father.
Chris, the former England opener and current International Cricket Council match referee, witnessed Stuart score his maiden Test century this summer, against Pakistan at Lord’s.
In making a sensational 169, Stuart also surpassed his dad’s highest score for England - the 162 he made against Australia at the WACA on the 1986-87 Ashes tour - and served as further notice of his undoubted talent with the bat.
The objective now, according to Broad Snr, is to produce such efforts on a more regular basis - starting with England’s assignment Down Under this winter.
“Batting at number nine, it was a remarkable achievement,” Chris told the ECB Podcast, casting his mind back to last month. “He looked like a proper batsman, as a lot of people know that he is.
“It’s a question of being consistent. Now that he’s shown he has got the ability to do it, hopefully we’ll see some more of him during the winter.”
The 1986-87 tour remains England’s last successful visit to Australia, with Chris’ three successive hundreds - starting with that innings in Perth - central to a 2-1 triumph.
Indeed, having finished as the leading batsman on both sides with 487 runs at an average of 69.57, Chris speaks with no little authority on the demands - and benefits - of playing in Antipodean conditions.
“The Australian pitches are very good,” he added. “Early on the seam bowlers get a little bit of opportunity to find pace and bounce and movement.
“Perhaps later on the spinners will come into play, but in general they’re extremely good batting tracks. As a batsman it’s a great place to tour.”
Optimism is building ahead of England’s departure late next month, after a successful summer in all forms of the game and Australia’s widely reported decline following their dominance of world cricket.
While Chris shares the belief that England can succeed, he cast his mind back almost a quarter of a century - when Stuart was less than a year old - as he sounded a warning about the challenges the current generation will face.
“They (Australia) are a very strong unit - they have been for a number of years - and they have a way of finding their way back into matches,” he said.
“The crowds love their cricket - they find great enthusiasm for the game.
"The thing that worked well for us (in 1986-87) was that we won the first Test match, which kind of silenced the crowd and maybe got them on the Australians’ backs - put a little bit of extra pressure on them.
“It’s such a closely fought contest, as this will undoubtedly be, that it’s about finding ways of putting pressure on the opposition.
“Confidence plays a huge part in winning international matches, but Australia in Australia are a very difficult outfit to beat.
“England are going to have to play at their very finest, not only on the odd days, but every day, every session of every Test match.”