England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's July 19, 2011

Flower wants accuracy from Broad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andy Flower, the England team director, wants Stuart Broad to concentrate on improving his accuracy and forget playing the role of England's enforcer. Since Andrew Flintoff retired, Broad has gained a reputation for being the aggressor in England's pace attack, a bowler who can unsettle the batsmen with quick bouncers while the others focus on pitching it up and swinging the ball.

Broad, however, is now competing with Tim Bresnan for a spot in the first Test against India at Lord's on July 21 after struggling with his form in recent matches.

Flower said he didn't like the term 'enforcer'. "Broad's got pace and bounce and he's a great competitor, but he can be more accurate," he told the Guardian. "I've heard some crazy stuff about him being - and I hate this word - an enforcer. His job is to create pressure and to take wickets and to do that you generally bowl at off stump. So his job is not to rough up the opposition. It is not to be this ridiculous enforcer."

It was England bowling coach David Saker, however, who had said: "We want him to be the enforcer in our team. There is no better bowler in the world than Stuart at bowling bouncers."

Flower also played down Broad's exclusion from the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka, saying it was a tactical move. "It wasn't a particularly tough decision. We had to bring in another spinner and we thought [Jade] Dernbach would be more effective and give us a better chance of winning. I didn't think he [Broad] bowled as badly as his figures suggested against Sri Lanka. I've got a lot of respect for Broad as a young cricketer.

"We always select our best XI and Stuart has been a big part of that for the last few years. That's the criteria we'll use when picking the side for Lords. He's in the squad but we've yet to make a decision about the best XI."

Broad went wicketless in three of the four ODIs he played against Sri Lanka, and conceded 70 runs in 10 overs in England's loss at Headingley. He played county cricket last week to regain form ahead of the India series and took six wickets for Nottinghamshire against Somerset, including 5 for 95 in the first innings.

India will play four Tests in England and the series is being called the battle for the No. 1 ranking, with England needing to win by a margin of two to surpass India. Flower defended his team being vocal about its desire to be the top-ranked Test side, saying it was not arrogance but a natural goal.

"I find it strange that it's seen as overconfidence or an outlandish goal. Surely that's the goal you should have? Otherwise aren't you selling yourself and your country short? We don't set the goal with the expectation we're just going to talk about it. We haven't put a time limit on it, but this series is different because we're playing the current No. 1 side in the world."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on July 22, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    @Sameer Sitaram; Eng 474/d - how's that "complete whitewash series with India winning" looking for you now?

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    Broad the enforcer! Oh wait, it must be Tremlett, wait.. there is someone else waiting in the flanks. One makes you wonder if India is the only team that stays clear of the pre-match pomp and boasting. I watched Rahul Dravid's interview and it was plain and understated. Reading this article above makes me think that this will be a complete whitewash series with India winning, of course.

  • Martin on July 20, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    Hey @rana2000; I see you've come all the way back from Sri Lanka - is it to enjoy more of our lovely rain - or is it to watch England put india away???

  • ruchin on July 20, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    When was the last time Broad took wickets & isn't this guy the same who has the honorable record of being the only bowler in modern cricket being hit for 6 sixes. No wonder he opens the bowling for Pommies!!!!

  • Dru on July 20, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    Yep Broad's been way too short and I will be suprised if he plays at lords. Surely you cant go in to such a critical opening test on what is expected to be flat track with Broad bowling short rubbish to class batsman. Broad has his chance and blew it and I reckon he be sent back to county cricket to get the basics sorted. He has a big role to play in Eng's future and rather spend the time getting his role sorted than later.

  • Anupam on July 20, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    england have 7 batsmen thats enough if eng team wants very long batting then plunkett, r.clarke, luke wright instead of anderson, tremlett, broad.lol this is foolish select onion, harmison, simon jones or finn NO to bresnan & broad.

  • Chatty on July 20, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Borad roughing up the opposition? Give me a break. That baby face cannot rough up even a kitten!

  • Dinesh on July 20, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    @dsig3, even though I am an Indian, but completely agree with you. Australian players "were" very arrogant, but Aus public was very moderate and understanding. Even it will be too harsh to call eng players arrogant, they sure speak a lot, sometimes nonsense too, but certainly are not disrespectfull to opposition. Even Indian players have carried them gracefully few exceptions are always there. If we have Sreesanth, Bhajji, Eng have Broad, SA have Smith and not to forget Ponting in Aus, Pak had Afridi (cant think of any from SL or NZ or WI). BUT Indian followers are turning more like supporters of some political party rather than follower of cricket. Swan is a good bowler and a breath of fresh air, just like a Sehwag, a WI Russel or Edwards, an ever smiling Ntini or Murali. Never ever underestimate your opposition and as someone said that Trott is 3rd class player, then this 3rd class player has been almost impossible to remove from crease in recent times. Its time we learn to respect.

  • Nicholas on July 20, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    I've got it: is Broad left or right handed? If he's left handed, that would explain his poor bowling (he bowls right-arm, which would be his weaker arm); if he's right handed, he tries to bat left-handed and can't seem to manage. Solution: drop him for a better player (like Bresnan) that knows their left from their right!

  • Anandh balaji on July 20, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    @Poms: I feel england has a lot of better players in domestic levels to bring up to the team...They can easily fill the boots of the present team ..There is a lot of good players ,bring them up ..England will see a good ODI team as well as in other two formats too.It is the same to dealt with westindies ,Australia and India too..

  • No featured comments at the moment.