Broad on an upward curve

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Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad has enjoyed a fruitful year, his first as an England Test cricketer

Stuart Broad awaits a call confirming his place in England's West Indies tour squad later this week having exceeded even his own expectations during his first year in Test cricket.

The 22-year-old Nottinghamshire seamer returned home from a tough tour to India cheered by the fact he has made significant progress in the last 12 months.

Just a year ago Broad had flown home in similar circumstances from Sri Lanka, having made his Test debut in Colombo and still finding his way in the one-day side.

But 12 months on Broad is an established member of England's one-day planning and is well on the way to becoming a key member of the Test side. The squad for the Caribbean is named on Monday.

It would complete an outstanding year, during which he has ousted a senior figure like Steve Harmison from the Test side twice - in New Zealand and India - and performed well on each occasion.

"I'm pleased with the way I've settled into Test cricket," admitted Broad, who has claimed 24 wickets in nine Tests this year.

"I'd have liked to have picked up more wickets en route but I've been delighted with the way the batting has come on.

"That was an area where I thought I might struggle, but to pick up three Test fifties in my first year is pleasing because I know I can get wickets.

"I've proved at one-day international level that I can take wickets in international cricket.

Stuart Broad

Broad has shown immense promise with the bat - surprising even himself with three Test fifties

"If I stay patient with my action and my lines and lengths then wickets will come in the future."

His immediate aim is to maintain his place in the England line-up for the four-Test series in West Indies, which begins in Jamaica on February 4, and repel the challenges of Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom, who missed the India series with a side injury.

Broad successfully forced his way into the side for the drawn second Test in Mohali after missing the defeat in Chennai with a hamstring strain, but believes the real challenges lie ahead.

"Leading up to the first Test, it was my ambition to try and get into the side for the second Test," he explained. "I was working hard, making sure I was strong and fit and bowling as well as I could out in the middle.

"Hopefully I have done enough to cement a place in the side for the next tour and the next year.

“Ryan Sidebottom is working hard to get back to fitness and he's been fantastic since his recall to Test cricket.

"But we've got the shirts and the caps at the moment so it's our job to try and hold on to them."

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