Broad looks back on mad moment
Stuart Broad reflected on an intense period of “absolute chaos” that saw him successfully review an lbw decision on the final evening of England’s dramatic escape in Auckland.
Although Matt Prior, with an unbeaten century, and Ian Bell, who survived 271 deliveries for his 75, provided the most substantial contributions as the tourists held on for an unlikely draw, Broad also showed his mettle with a virtually shot-free stay at the crease spanning two hours and 17 minutes.
However, things could have been very different - for Broad and England - had the left-handed batsman not successfully overturned a leg-before verdict from Rod Tucker early in his innings.
Broad was given out when a Trent Boult yorker appeared to pin him plumb in front of the stumps, while also knocking him off his feet. As the 26-year-old fell to the floor - and landed chin-first on his bat handle - he immediately called for a review, but was briefly given cause to regret his decision.
Taking up the tale, Broad told ecb.co.uk: “It all happened pretty quickly; it was a pretty good ball from Boult, an inswinger.
“I knew I had got a bit of bat on it, but I didn’t know where the ball went. I saw him (umpire Tucker) give it out and as I was falling I tried to review; it was absolute chaos.
“(Tim) Southee did me a bit when he came over. He said ‘you know we caught it?’ and I was like ‘oh no, because I’ve definitely hit it’ - but fortunately the ball had bounced.
“I didn’t know what I was doing and we always talk about reviews, having a bit of discussion and making sure we make the right decision. I didn’t do it there but luckily it was the right decision.
“I have got a bit of a sore neck where I sort of impaled myself on the bat!”
Broad hailed Prior for “playing brilliantly” and acknowledged the challenge of abandoning his naturally attacking style of batsmanship.
“I like scoring runs and it gets me in better positions when I’m looking to score runs, but I just wanted to really stick it out and hang in there with Matt. I didn’t look to play an attacking shot at all really,” added the bowling all-rounder.
“There was a time when my feet weren’t moving at all, so I had to pick a little bit of a fight to get myself in a battle.
“It was nice to be out there supporting Matt, who is obviously one of my best mates. I was gutted not to be there at the end, which put some pressure on Jimmy (Anderson) and Mont (Monty Panesar), but it was an amazing effort from all of us to survive that Test match.”
Although Broad concedes a series draw is by no means an ideal outcome for England, he takes encouragement from the fighting qualities the squad have demonstrated, both in Auckland and in the first Test at Dunedin’s University Oval.
“What it shows is the fight and character and determination we’ve got in the changing room,” he concluded.
“Coming into the day anyone outside the four walls of that changing room gave us no chance and, realistically, if I was sat on my couch at home looking at another team playing I’d have given us no chance.
“But the steely determination we’ve got in the changing room - we were desperate to cling on in this game and we showed that. Guys didn’t play their natural games; they reined themselves in and made it hard for New Zealand, who battled really well.
“We’re delighted in there, (even though) we came to New Zealand to win this Test match series.
“In Wellington we put in a fantastic performance and got held by the rain, but to have batted 170-odd overs in Dunedin, survived that Test match, and 140-odd here, we’re delighted and it shows the character we need coming into what is a huge summer for us.”