London, June 4 Veteran England fast-bowler Stuart Broad stated that he has no anxiety leading into the upcoming highly-anticipated Ashes series, adding that he is at a stage right now where he is very comfortable with his performances.
Broad took six wickets in England’s 10-wicket victory over Ireland in the one-off Test at Lord’s, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings, to start his home summer with a bang. In the Ashes, Broad has overall picked 131 wickets in 35 matches while averaging 29.05.
“Your first Ashes series comes with an inevitable bag of nerves, but there will be no anxiety leading into this one for me. I couldn’t be more relaxed, to be honest. That doesn’t mean I am not fully switched on or hugely competitive, it just means that I am very comfortable with what I’m doing right now,” wrote Broad in his column for Daily Mail on Sunday.
Broad also expressed confidence over his ability to deliver for England whenever required in the Ashes.
“I’ve experienced everything in the game and have confidence in my ability which means that if I don’t deliver on one day, I will the next,” the pacer said.
“I want to have an impact on the series, absolutely, but it doesn’t matter if it’s the first, third or fifth Test match. I have a history of pretty good performances later in Ashes series and I have a real trust in what the hierarchy are doing, so I will play whenever needed, confident I will do the job required,” he added.
The 36-year old noted that debutant fast bowler Josh Tongue, who took five wickets on debut in the second innings, looked really dangerous with the ball and was appreciative of another pacer coming through the ranks ahead of the Ashes.
“From the pavilion end, you can get dragged back into the stumps and it’s very difficult to hold your line outside off-stump to run the ball back in. Bowling from the nursery end, you have to really fire the ball in at middle stump for it to carry through towards the keeper,” he said.
“But he settled in really well, didn’t bowl any balls that softly went down the leg side — which is so easy to do — and he showed great temperament and character. You can get over-emotional and overawed by international cricket, but he hit the pitch really hard from his first over, looked really dangerous throughout and got the rewards on the second day for his efforts in the first innings,” he added.
Australia haven’t won an Ashes series in England since 2001 and will be aiming to do so in 2023 after the last series in 2019 ended in a draw.
After Edgbaston hosts the first Ashes Test from June 16-20, the rest of the games will take place at Lord’s (June 28-July 2), Headingley (July 6-10), Old Trafford (July 19-23) and The Oval (July 27-31).
“You always need one X factor as a Test bowler, whether that’s height, pace, extreme accuracy or movement and he’s got a couple of those things, so he’s another promising addition to our armoury of bowlers,” said Broad.
“In some bowling units, it’s all about who takes the wickets but there is a genuine pack mentality amongst us, we are all in it together and ultimately we need 100 Australian wickets in the five Tests ahead. With such a tight schedule, they are not going to be taken by just four bowlers,” he concluded.
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)