STUART BROAD: I just want to make a positive impact on the new England as soon as I can
Every time a new management team comes in, it’s always a bit of a stressful time because you never know if you’re a player they want to move on with.
The uncertainty has been no different for me over the last few weeks with England, but I feel the way I play my cricket and the aggressive approach I like to take on the pitch suits the characteristics of Rob Key, Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. . .
Quite simply, I’m really looking forward to facing New Zealand next week having been selected in the first test team of the summer. So far I’ve only had a very brief cricket conversation on the phone with Brendon, but I’m sure of what’s to come.
Stuart Broad says he has no long-term goals other than helping England’s new regime
Of course, you can never guarantee performances, but what I can guarantee at the beginning of this new era is something that I have always done: my heart and soul will be dedicated to playing at Lord’s. After staying outside for the winter, it’s really refreshing to be looking forward and just putting my attention in one direction. There will be no going back because there is no need for it.
The decisions that were made about the selection in 2020, 2021 and the beginning of 2022 do not affect what will happen now in June, so it is up to me to make performances to push this team forward.
In most walks of life, if you keep looking back over your shoulder at things that happened in the past, it can be quite exhausting, which is why I’ve committed to looking forward.
It has given me a lot of energy for my early season performances in Nottinghamshire and to resume a test race which at 152 caps is certainly more than halfway done! However, in all seriousness, while I know my future became an issue when I was passed over for the Caribbean, as far as the rest of my career, that’s not something I’m focused on.
Broad says past performances mean nothing and he has yet to push this team forward
There are no long-term goals. I’m just trying to make as positive an impact as I can, as soon as I can, under this regime.
At some point, I will have to get into a room with Ben, Brendon and the new coach when they are appointed, to ask for some clarity, both on what they want from me and what I want from them. Whether it’s seven test matches, five test matches, four test matches, one, whatever, I’ll be up and ready.
In my only conversation about crickets with Brendon, we didn’t put time limits on things. He simply said that it would be great to sit down together and talk about how he wants to integrate his style into this England team.
Every player has such an important role in that. A coach can make it clear what style he wants, but unless the players take ownership of that and control it for themselves, it’s hard for it to take off.
The only other time I have spoken to him since his appointment was to ask permission to go to Wembley to watch Nottingham Forest in the play-off final at Wembley. We checked into the team hotel later that day.
Broad says he thinks stylistically, Brendan McCullum will like his ‘aggressive approach’
Once we meet in London, the focus will be on helping to create new stats. The facts are that this England team have won one Test in 17. I would like to think we can achieve one win in one when we start the international summer.
It is not that the attitude of looking forward means looking further ahead. A weakness in the past has been the habit of concentrating on the next ashes. Let’s stop all that, make one of one at Lord’s, sign that game and move on to the next one. There is no doubt that there is a bit of an injury problem with the bowlers at the moment so it is important that the guys who are fit stay fit because we can’t afford too many more to go.
In that regard, I’ve had a decent record over a 15-year career with England and when I was injured during the warm-up at Lord’s last August, it was the first home event I’d missed through injury.
Broad (right) pictured laughing with England teammate Ben Stokes (left)
I thoroughly enjoyed building international cricket with Nottinghamshire and feel I have made good contributions to a team that instinctively play front foot and are well placed at the top of the second tier. However, this period highlighted a real concern in the county championship over this year’s batch of Dukes balls. They haven’t swayed and because they soften very quickly, there’s also no bounce. Things have been so bad that we have had to change the ball two or three times in each inning.
It has felt like bowling with a rolled up piece of playdough and the balls are so soft you feel like you can squeeze them before you’ve even played a ball with them.
In the first innings against Derbyshire this week, the ball deteriorated after 3.3 overs and was changed after eight.
It could still be an issue for the upcoming Test series as well because while in county cricket the rings used to check if a ball is still fit are made specifically for Dukes, the ICC version used in international cricket too it is made to accommodate the Kookaburra and SG, which are larger balls.