England in South Africa 2009-10 December 20, 2009

Broad must curb annoying on-field behaviour

"Stuart Broad is a fine cricketer, and I always said he was one of the best thinking bowlers I have had the pleasure of captaining

"Stuart Broad is a fine cricketer, and I always said he was one of the best thinking bowlers I have had the pleasure of captaining. But as an outside observer, I can see that there is something a little bit annoying about him. He always seems to be complaining to the umpire, whether it’s a wide that’s called or a no-ball given," writes Michael Vaughan in the Sunday Telegraph.

He needs to be careful, because umpires around the world do talk to each other about the moaners, just like they do in county cricket. It is ironic that his father, Chris, is one of the tougher match referees. The way he is going, Broad junior could end up being banned for a couple of games.

Another former England captain, Nasser Hussain, shares Vaughan's concern about Broad's behaviour. Writing in the Mail on Sunday he says,

If yesterday's incident was a one-off then it wouldn't be too much of a problem but this is far from the first time that Broad has shown stroppiness towards officials, and if he carries on it is going to lead to umpires turning down his appeals and generally having a downer on him ... I am not one for calling for a cricketer to be fined or banned, but Broad was out of order yesterday and perhaps someone has to make a statement with him.

One of the best things about the pair of Andyarchs who rule English cricket – and, let us not forget, Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flower were given full rein together only seven months ago – is their speed in learning from mistakes, writes Scyld Berry in the Sunday Telegraph.

... selecting six specialist batsmen, Matt Prior at seven, and four bowlers is a policy without a future. Whatever the result of this game – even if Ian Bell makes a match-winning hundred – it needs to be binned in almost every instance. To be as conservative in strategy and selection as South Africa, on going into this series, is quite a condemnation.

If England are to avoid a losing start to their Test series with South Africa they are going to have to summon the never-say-die spirit of their Ashes escape at Cardiff last summer, writes Simon Wilde in the Sunday Times.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo