Broad targets tougher totals
Stuart Broad knows England must be able to set competitive targets if they are to defend the World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka.
Broad’s side were yesterday limited to 118 for seven in a seven-wicket loss to South Africa at the Emirates Durham ICG.
That was the first of three NatWest International T20s between the sides, the second being tomorrow at Old Trafford and the third on Wednesday at Edgbaston.
The World T20 squad then flies to Sri Lanka for warm-up matches with Australia and Pakistan before group games versus Afghanistan and India.
Batting first in any of those contests or beyond, England will have to make a better fist than yesterday.
“It was a decent toss to win because I don’t think it was an easy wicket to set on. But that’s not really a point because we’re going to have wickets like that in the next month that we’re going to have to set competitive totals on,” Broad told ecb.co.uk yesterday.
“That doesn’t mean 170, 180. Today probably 150 would have been right in that game. It’s being aware of that and making sure we’re good enough to do that.”
Broad hopes England’s batsmen are in fine fettle by the time they fly to the sub-continent.
That makes tomorrow and Wednesday even more important for a side already determined to win the series.
“We’ll have some options available to us in the next few games and we need the players in good form when we get to Sri Lanka,” Broad added.
“Obviously there’s a bit of talking to do. At this stage of the season you don’t want to be doing too much netting and stuff because we’ve been playing a lot of cricket. It’s all about managing the workloads.
“There’s a lot we can get from today and hopefully we can put that into practice on Monday.”
England’s bowlers at least are showed promising signs. Jade Dernbach struck twice yesterday when Broad himself, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann were economical.
Finn again led the attack with aplomb, snaring Francois du Plessis, and Broad said: “I thought Steven Finn bowled fantastically well.”
He added: “Finny’s been great for us over the last year or so with that new ball and it’s been a good tactic for us to go hard early with a couple of slips and pick up wickets.
“When you’re defending a total like that it’s always going to be tough and I was proud of the way the guys did try.”