Broad benefits from fresh plan
England seamer Stuart Broad attributed his excellent bowling performance on day three of the first npower Test to a change in approach.
Broad bowled noticeably fuller at Lord’s and the results were there for all to see as he took 4-37 – including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar – to help dismiss India for 284.
That performance was all the more impressive given there were calls for him to be omitted from the XI ahead of the historic 2,000th Test.
Broad was understandably delighted after his performance helped the hosts secure a 188-run first-innings advantage.
“It was very pleasing, picking up four wickets. I am obviously delighted but more importantly we got 10 Indian wickets as a team,” he said.
“I think it was quite obvious I bowled a fuller length today. I think that worked, getting the batsmen driving, and that length can still hit the stumps on a pretty slow Lord's wicket. I'll obviously look to do that in the future as well.”
Broad has previously been labelled by some as the side’s ’enforcer’ – a bowler tasked with roughing opposition batsman up.
Team director Andy Flower dismissed that theory in the build-up to the encounter at Lord’s, though, suggesting he had another role to play.
And so it proved today as Broad impressed using a very different method.
The seamer, though, acknowledges that his approach will change depending on what the situation requires.
He added: “As a player you get asked to do different roles within the side. Within the changing room, everyone has always known I'm best when I pitch the ball up and get a little bit of movement.
“But when that moment comes when a bowler is needed to rough a batsman up or get two men out on the hook and try to unsettle someone, then the ball gets thrown to me because my bouncer is pretty good.
“We all know within the changing room the way I bowled today is certainly the way to go but if we need to rough a batsman up I am more than happy to do that.”
Broad was in scintillating form throughout today, picking up openers Abhinav Mukund and Gautum Gambhir in his first spell before returning to claim the dream wicket of Tendulkar.
His final scalp – Praveen Kumar – came on the back of another impressive stint.
When asked whether today’s performance was as good as he has bowled since his career-defining 5-37 at the Oval in the 2009 Ashes, he said: “Probably.
“I bowled a pretty good spell in Durban (where England beat South Africa in 2009) though.”
Much like those occasions, today’s effort came with him operating as a first-change bowler rather than taking the new ball.
Despite admitting all bowlers prefer a crack with the new cherry, Broad says he feels that he operates best in his current role.
“Any bowler will tell you they want to take the new ball but when I look back at my past successes they've been as a first-change bowler,” he added.
“Chris (Tremlett) has deserved the new ball. He bowled fantastically in Australia and was man of the series against Sri Lanka.
“I do suit first-change at the moment but I will always be fighting for that new ball as well.”