Aggression is Broad's mantra


Aggression is Broad's mantra

When Stuart Broad takes the field today against South Africa in Cape Town in the third Test, he will win his 25th Test cap, drawing alongside his father, Chris. "Hopefully I'll get the bragging rights as soon as I go ahead of him," he said. "But he always says that until I win in Australia I've got nothing on him so that's certainly the next aim of my career and then I can walk away happy."

But other people perceive a similarity in the two men that goes beyond the numerical — and their fair good looks. A certain feistiness has been passed from father to son, a disgruntlement, especially when confronted by bone-headed officialdom, or what he sees as such.

"Golden Bowls", as the tabloids christened him after his Ashes winning turn at The Oval in September, has a belligerent side to him, if provoked, and his attitude towards umpires in South Africa has been criticised by the former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain.

He invokes memories of his father when asked about this, the father who refused to leave the crease when given out in Lahore 22 years ago and knocked over his stumps in Sydney the following year. "Certainly the passion for the game I think I have got off my dad," he said. "I'm just passionate to win games for my country and sometimes when things don't go my way I will get a little bit narky. But I don't see that as a huge thing.

"When I watch sport I like to see the likes of Wayne Rooney and when they show a bit of passion for the game it shows they really care, as long as you don't cross the line and make yourself look like an idiot. That's something I've got to be very aware of in the future."

In reference to his father's Sydney outburst, Broad added: "It's crucial I carry myself in the right way. It is something I'm aware of, but my youthful exuberance sometimes gets the better of me. I hope it won't be to the extent of hitting my stumps down!"

Broad Jr is no idiot. At 23 he has a reputation for being a thinking cricketer and possibly even a future captain. But if an England player is banned the odds are on it being the Nottinghamshire player, who in the absence of Andrew Flintoff is becoming one of the central figures in the side. And there's some stardust too.

"The fact is I have done nothing to the degree where I should be getting fined or banned. That's the brunt of it," he said. "People say I am getting the soft end of the stick but you have actually got to do something bad to get banned. In the Australia series there were a few pushes and a few barges, so players got banned. All I have done is ask the question and I don't think that's ever been against the law."

If he is ever banned it would be impossible to replace him adequately. He was speaking in the wake of his crucial role in England's victory by an innings and 98 runs in the second Test at Durban, where he took three wickets for one run in the space of 15 deliveries, albeit with the assistance of Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy, neither of whom attempted to play a stroke.

He had bowled badly in the first Test in Centurion but had ended last summer's international season with consecutive five-fors at Headingley and The Oval. His success at Kingsmead was especially pleasing for him because he had been targeted by the South Africa batsmen in the home series in 2008.

It was satisfying for another reason too, for on his previous visit to this ground in 2007 he had been hit for six sixes in one over by Yuvraj Singh. "I made sure I bowled at the other end this time," he said.

There were similarities to his performance against Australia at The Oval last summer. "I felt in a similar sort of rhythm. I hit my natural length pretty much from the word go, my wrist was getting behind the ball nicely and I was just getting it to talk a little bit from a dangerous area.

"I am fortunate at my age to have experienced a lot of different conditions around the world. South Africa is a place I've looked forward to playing for a long time. It looks an exciting place to play, there's a bit in it for bat and ball if you play well.

"One thing that helped me before this series was that I watched footage of Shaun Pollock because he's the type of bowler I want to be like. He got the ball to talk when the seam wasn't perfectly bolt upright, when it was just wobbling slightly. It just nipped either way and that's what I worked on with (England bowling coach) Ottis Gibson in the nets before the series started. It's pleasing to get Jacques Kallis with one that just nipped back when the seam was wobbling."

Some recent England fast bowlers said that they just ran in and let the ball go. But not Broad, a thoughtful and dual-purpose cricketer. At least, until the family feistiness comes into play.

Assembly elections 2019 | Get the latest news, views and analysis on elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on

For election-related news in Maharashtra, click here

For election-related news in Haryana, click here

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)