Broad puts team before personal glory
Stuart Broad hopes his hat-trick will not be in a losing cause after he led England’s sensational fightback on day two of the second npower Test against India at Trent Bridge with a fine bowling display.
Nottinghamshire seamer Broad took five wickets for no runs in 16 deliveries, which included the dismissals of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar in successive balls on his home ground as India collapsed from 267 for four to 288 all out. England subsquently closed on 24 for one, trailing by 43.
The tourists seemed certain to take a substantial first-innings lead after the majestic Rahul Dravid compiled his second hundred of the four-match series, with VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh contributing half-centuries, but Broad had other ideas.
He finished with Test-best figures of 6-46, having also helped England scramble to 221 with a fearless innings of 64 yesterday afternoon, but insists his efforts will pale into insignificance if India level the series.
“I think in the context of the game, it was quite important to pick those wickets up so to be able to get a hat-trick in that was very special but it won’t mean much if we don’t get go on and win this Test match,” he said.
“You always look back on fond days and have fond memories when you win so it’s important that we go on tomorrow and build a big score, which we’re very used to doing in the past year.”
Dravid and Laxman’s 93-run second-wicket partnership set the tone for most of the day and Broad admitted England were made to play the waiting game.
He said: “We tried to build pressure throughout the whole day. I thought the heavy roller played quite a big part in the morning session, the wicket was quite slow and didn’t do a huge amount for us.
“So it was about building the pressure and we knew wickets would fall for us in quick succession at some stage during the day.
“Fortunately that happened for us late in the day but I thought it was a good all-round session from all the bowlers.”
India were cruising when they reached tea on 215 for four, with Yuvraj profiting after being dropped by Kevin Pietersen whilst on four.
Broad revealed that Strauss had rallied the troops to give their all when the new ball was made available.
“We dropped Yuvraj when he was on four so that was a little bit of a concern at one stage when Dravid and himself were playing brilliantly so we knew that new-ball period was going to be a huge session for us,” said the 25-year-old.
“Straussy asked at tea if we could all raise our intensity in that hour to put some pressure on the Indian batsman and fortunately there was a little bit of swing with that new ball and the edges came right away.
“We’ve got ourselves back in this game. I would say India probably had three-quarters of the day again but we’ve nicked the last session so we’re fighting hard.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a huge day in this Test match. If we can bat big, we need one guy to go and get a hundred and a big hundred, we’re right in the game because I think bowling last on that wicket could be a big advantage for us.”
Opener Alastair Cook fell before stumps for England, while Jonathan Trott’s availability will be assessed in the morning after he suffered a shoulder injury whilst fielding in the afternoon session.
That leaves England’s remaining batsmen with their work cut out but Broad believes that they should use Dravid’s patient, yet clinical innings of 117 as a template.
The makeshift opener struck 15 fours in his 235-ball innings to equal Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries and gave a textbook example of batting on a wicket that has given some assistance to the bowlers thus far.
“He’s been hard to bowl at in this series so far. I think the way he left the ball is an example that we can take forward tomorrow for us to look at,” added Broad.
“It is one of those wickets that you can score on if you put the bad ball away, I mean the outfield is so fast; it just runs away, but he really made the bowlers come to him.
“You do need a little bit of luck on wickets like this at times but it was a fantastic hundred so we were delighted to see the back of him, and to knock the last five or six wickets over as quickly as we did was very pleasing while he was still at the other end.”