Refreshed Broad raring to go
Stuart Broad believes he has his own preparation spot as England aim to lift the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies.
England’s opening warm-up fixture is against Bangladesh at the Kensington Oval in Barbados tomorrow - and after his eight-wicket match haul for Nottinghamshire last week and a necessary month’s rest before then, following an arduous winter schedule for England, Broad is raring to go.
“I feel great. The rest was fantastic after Bangladesh to make sure the body got rid of all the niggles,” said the 23-year-old pace bowler.
“This last week was a fantastic experience, helping Notts win and get some overs under my belt. I feel really fresh and excited about what we can do in this tournament.”
England were unable to rise to the occasion just under a year ago when they hosted the World Twenty20, losing their opening match against Holland at Lord’s, then recovering in the group stages only to be stymied by West Indies on a rainy night at the Brit Oval.
But Broad believes they have made significant strides since then, and in any case were perhaps a little unlucky last year.
“We obviously stumbled against the Netherlands,” he conceded. “But the great thing about this tournament is you can recover from that.
“We qualified after beating Pakistan pretty convincingly and were actually quite unfortunate losing in a rain-affected game, where the Duckworth-Lewis stuffed us a bit.”
Ten months on, England have some new personnel - specifically in Michael Lumb and wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter at the top of the order.
That, and other factors such as their limited-overs success in the West Indies a year ago, enthuses Broad.
He added: “I think we’ve got a really well-balanced squad here - batters who can hit boundaries all the way through the order, good spinners - and I think the team is really excited about our prospects.
“If we can use the knowledge we gained here last year we can go far. Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb are an exciting pick at the top of the order.
“It’s certainly an exciting squad and I think we’ve got a really good chance. We’ve got the players to do the business.
“This is one of the best chances an England squad has had since I’ve been involved in an ICC event.”
As for his own Twenty20 development, Broad believes he is adapting well from the demands of four- and five-day cricket to the canny nuances of keeping batsmen guessing in the shortest format.
He does not, however, regret giving the Indian Premier League a miss to date because he believes the time has not yet been right to spend six weeks on the sub-continent when he has instead needed recovery time from a busy international schedule.
“Obviously, I want to experience the IPL at some stage - it looks a fantastic tournament,” he said.
“Every player involved in it has only got good words to say. But I am pleased I had the rest this time.”