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Cook keeps faith with Broad

NatWest Series

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Stuart Broad

England captain Alastair Cook is confident that a change in fortunes is just around the corner for pace bowler Stuart Broad

England captain Alastair Cook has backed Stuart Broad to overcome his slump in form and saw some encouraging signs from the pace bowler during the six-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

The Nottinghamshire seamer was wicketless for the third one-day international in a row as England went 2-1 behind in the five-match NatWest Series at Lord's yesterday.

Although Broad will head for his home ground of Trent Bridge on Wednesday nursing series figures of 0-154, he has the full backing of his skipper.

Cook, who made his second ODI hundred in yesterday's six-wicket defeat, said: “I think it’s just one of those things.”

Cook saw enough in Broad’s efforts, particularly when bowling to man-of-the-match Dinesh Chandimal, to help him keep the faith.

“In a couple of overs when he was bowling aggressively at the guy who got a hundred, he hit the gloves and got the ball to bounce up," Cook added.

“He had a short-leg in, and they just kept avoiding him. At the moment it’s not quite going for Broady, a bit like the Test matches.

“But this is what cricket does, and if he gets five-for next time on his home ground it will be welcome.”

It was an all-round frustrating day for the bowling all-rounder after learning before the start of play that he was fined 50% of his match fee for a Level Two breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the second match at Headingley.

Cook added: “He overstepped the mark. But when he bowled aggressively he made it uncomfortable - that’s what Stuart does well.

“Broady’s always played that way. That’s part of what’s made him get so far in the game so quickly.

“Occasionally he has overstepped the mark. But when you’re wrong you’re wrong. You put your hands up - and he admitted that.”

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