Planning makes perfect - Broad
Stuart Broad felt England’s pre-series planning was key to their whitewash of India.
Andrew Strauss’ side wrapped up a 4-0 win at the Kia Oval today with an innings-and-eight-run victory, Graeme Swann taking six wickets, which put the gloss on their rise to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
Broad was nominated as the hosts’ best player by India coach Duncan Fletcher and the fast bowler believes the England attack was simply putting into practice the preparations set out by Strauss and team director Andy Flower.
He said: “We have worked well together, Swann has bowled very well on this wicket and we have all bowled to a plan throughout the series. It has been very rewarding.
“They have a powerful batting line-up but we set pretty clear plans at the start of the series on how we wanted to bowl - slightly fuller lengths with the odd bouncer and the wickets we have played on have allowed that.
“The plans have worked and we are delighted with the results.”
Ian Bell’s 235 was pivotal to England making a mammoth 591 for six and the batsman relished in the opportunity to move up to number three in the absence of the injured Jonathan Trott.
Bell, who was named man of the match, said: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to step up and have a go but we have a really good squad and that’s been our strength for a long time.
“I am still desperate to improve, like the rest of the guys, we are all looking to improve.”
Flower likened the post-match celebrations to those following his side’s Ashes victory two years ago, saying: “These are brilliant moments.
“We like listening to (Jerusalem) before each day’s play and to have it while they’re doing a lap of honour is very special.
“It reminds me of the Ashes in 2009, there’s a similar atmosphere. It was maybe a bit of an anti-climax because we were 3-0 up but it’s a great moment for them.
“The Ashes are special for their own reasons, and for the importance the English public and the Australian public give to it, but it’s also something special to be playing India.”
On the work which has gone into his side’s ascent to the pinnacle of the Test rankings, Flower added: “The players have worked extraordinarily hard to get their skills and their conditioning up, and they walk over that boundary rope and make good decisions under pressure.
“Also really good leadership from Strauss, you see that in all facets, and really good work by Graham Gooch and some of our support staff, you can see that in some big first-innings scores and the fielding standards.”
India’s outstanding performer throughout the series was Rahul Dravid, who made a first-innings 146 here.
He admitted the tourists had been comprehensively outplayed over the four games.
“England are deservedly the number one in the world, they played well in the series, they outplayed us,” he said.
“We expected a tough series as we know they have played some great cricket over the past two and a half years but we thought we would play a bit better.”