Wednesday, 25 January 2012

My StrangeLove or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Broad

This title is one I never thought I would type. It’s also one I’m sure many of my followers on Twitter who I’ve constantly nagged to read me will not appreciate. But, despite myself, Stuart Broad is really, really impressing me lately.

I can’t stand the way he appeals, or how he reviews everything. I’ve come so close to unfollowing him on Twitter so many times that I’ve lost count. He looks like a girl, and thinks he can commentate but can’t. But, since the debacle of a Sri Lanka series, everything has just been clicking for him. No matter what you think of the guy as a person, it’s quite difficult to argue with 25 wickets in 4 Tests against India (technically including a hat-trick, though we all know it wasn’t), and a Herculean 31 overs in Dubai. His batting has been typically inconsistent with ducks interspersed between technically impressive fifties, but his presence at 8 means England no longer panic at losing their “last specialist batsman”. His 169 at Lord’s in 2010 seems to have had some of its sheen removed following the revelations about the Pakistani attack, but it’s a pundit or fan with a short memory who forgets quite how brilliant some of his shots were in that knock.

What frustrates me most of all about Broad is how so many of the criticisms levelled at him could be rectified by Broad himself. Why does he feel it within his right to review LBWs that pitched a foot outside leg? Why does he appear to view himself as above the normal etiquette regarding appealing and simply celebrate as soon as a delivery of his strikes the pad? His moping, teenage body-language in the field gives the impression of one who doesn’t try hard, but Dubai was the 4th Test since Adelaide last year in which he’s bowled 30 overs in an innings. Over his career, he’s bowled around the same number of overs per innings as Anderson and Bresnan (all of whom are way behind Tremlett in that aspect), and if he were to look slightly less like child denied sweets every time Strauss denied him a review, the fans (not too mention the Twitterarti) might appreciate him a little more.

Whether his Indian Summer was a false dawn or not remains to be seen. His batting needs to become more consistent if he wants to be seriously considered at number 7, and Broad himself needs to accept that, while his record as an opener may be slightly better than that as first change, he must bowl when his captain wants, not when he wants. Yet it seems to me that an attitude change is all Broad needs to go from laughing stock of the online community to an all-rounder who can help England cement their place at the top of Test cricket.


Overs per innings in Tests: Anderson 19.40, Broad 18.72, Bresnan 17.82, Finn 14.40, Tremlett 21.32

Broad as an opener:;bowling_positionval1=bowling_position;class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=default;template=results;type=bowling

Broad as first-change:;bowling_positionmin2=3;bowling_positionval2=bowling_position;class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=default;template=results;type=bowling

1 comment:

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