Broad unburdened by Ashes history
Stuart Broad believes being free from the “demons” of England’s past failures will help him and his fellow Ashes tour virgins shine in Australia.
All-rounder Broad is one of nine members of the touring squad not to have previously played in Australia at Test level.
But rather than viewing a lack of experience in that environment as a negative, the 24-year-old, who starred in his debut Ashes series on home soil last year, reckons it will work to England’s advantage.
“We’re quite fortunate in that, the team we’ve got at the moment, (a few) of us haven’t toured Australia before,” Broad said.
“We’ve got no demons there, so we can just go and enjoy our time and make sure we play good cricket and hopefully win.”
England’s last success Down Under came in 1986-87, when Mike Gatting led them to a memorable 2-1 series triumph.
England have won just three Tests in 25 attempts in Australia since then, although none of those victories came in a match when the Ashes were still at stake.
That task will not be made any easier by the notoriously partisan Australian crowds, although Broad insists he will not be unduly affected by their hostility.
“It’s going to be a hostile reception for the English players,” said Broad, who also dismissed suggestions Australia had become a poor side in the wake of their recent run of seven defeats in all forms of cricket.
“You speak to any ex-England player who’s toured Australia and the first things they will say are about the crowd.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t affect where you bowl the ball or where you hit it.
“So, we need to just focus on getting our skills right and performing well, and gaining the opposition fans’ respect.”
Indeed, Broad hopes the unique atmosphere - and pressure - of an Ashes tour will add to his game.
“I’ve got a real competitive spirit so playing against a competitive side like Australia really excites me,” he added. “It gets my adrenalin going.
“It’s what I play the game for - the excitement of the competitive spirit - and I think Australia have that in abundance.”
Ahead of his early departure for Brisbane ahead of the first Test, he revealed he has enjoyed conditions thus far - and claims England should continue to do so.
“The pitches bounce a bit more, so being taller helps,” he said. “Taller bowlers seem to have a bit of success in Australia.
“We’ve got some tall bowlers in our team; I think we’ve got a team suited to do well and do some damage.”