Broad views significance of Sri Lanka
England’s overall success in 2012 may well depend on how they fare on two trips to Sri Lanka.
Stuart Broad will be pivotal to both. The bowling all-rounder is a certainty to play in the Test series, spanning this month and next, and will return to Sri Lanka during September to lead England’s World Twenty20 defence.
Having suffered a Test whitewash to Pakistan but responded in kind during the one-day internationals before taking the Twenty20s 2-1, England have had a mixed start to 2012.
Broad is, therefore, pleased that the International Cricket Council’s top-ranked Test side can immediately make amends for Pakistan’s surprising win in the United Arab Emirates, during two Tests with Sri Lanka. He knows, too, how England must improve.
“We just didn’t play the spin very well at all,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We have an opportunity in Sri Lanka to play on similar wickets and put that right, and that’s something that the guys are very focussed to do.
“It’s actually very good as a team that we have this opportunity straight away, coming back from the UAE, and we’re hoping for some big scores because the way we bowled out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi was brilliant and, if we can do that in Sri Lanka, we’ll stand a great chance of winning.”
Broad presided over a comeback in the T20 rubber with Pakistan. Having narrowly lost the first game, his side comfortably won the second and edged a thrilling decider. The fast bowler believes such resolve bodes well for the World T20.
“It was great actually. It was a really good experience,” he said. “I wasn’t actually that worried or nervous out there because I’ve got such faith in the guys on the field. But I know when you’re watching sport, you’re a lot more nervy than when you actually have your hands on and playing it.
“I mean the reaction when I’ve come home, of people saying how nervous they were watching it, I can fully understand. But to get over the line was awesome because we’ve got a Twenty20 World Cup to defend in September, and the character and desire we showed in those games to win - after looking dead and buried in the last one certainly - was awesome.”
Broad has four T20 internationals to refine his team before defending England’s maiden ICC crown. The first of those is versus West Indies on June 24 before three contests against South Africa in early September.
“It’s a young and inexperienced team, but you only get experience through playing,” he added. “So it’s important we give guys the opportunity to show themselves on the international arena, and I think we’ve got a really nice, balanced bowling attack as well.
“I’m excited what we can do over there, but now we have to wait until June 24 for another crack at it.”