England v India, Twenty20, Old Trafford August 30, 2011

Broad excited by England's new faces

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stuart Broad will hope that his personal change in fortune over the last couple of months will be replicated in England's Twenty20 form when they take on India at Old Trafford. It is Broad's second international as captain and his first, against Sri Lanka, couldn't have gone much worse as the home side were hammered by nine wickets at Bristol.

"We learned from the Sri Lanka defeat and as international cricketers it's exciting to have fresh challenges against a strong Indian team," he said. "It was a tough experience but you learn certain things from certain players. We know there's a game to win and that's what we're focused on. We can take confidence from the Test series, the Twenty20 is not something to be scared of, we play the way we play because it can work for us."

Already, one-match into Broad's reign, there have been significant changes to the line-up. Michael Lumb and Luke Wright, who featured at Bristol, both have long-term injuries while Ian Bell has been quietly pushed out of the Twenty20 set-up after being surprisingly left out against Sri Lanka. Those spaces have been taken by Alex Hales, Broad's Nottinghamshire team-mate, Somerset's Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes from Durham.

The trio is among the most exciting talent in the county game. Hales and Buttler, who made 32 off 16 in the Friends Life t20 semi-final against Hampshire, in particular have been rewarded for match-winning domestic performances, while Stokes is viewed as a solution to England's lack of boundary-hitting power in the middle order. Stokes made his ODI debut against Ireland in Dublin, and despite making just 3 off 10 balls is likely to figure in England's plans over the winter, especially when he is fit to bowl again after fracturing a finger mid-season.

"Alex Hales is one a tall guy, 6' 4'' - 6' 5'', and strikes the ball hard," Broad said. "He has an extremely high strike-rate [139.89] in the Twenty20 format and he's done really well in red-ball and white-ball cricket. He's an exciting talent.

"We've seen Jos Buttler play all sorts of shots - particularly against Notts. He can hit over the keeper and fine leg and still has the power to find a straight boundary. He showed his talent on Twenty20 Finals day on Saturday. Stokesy is a strong guy, a big-hitter of the ball. He certainly showed his power in training."

That session at Old Trafford on Tuesday involved simulated match situations in the middle. It is a training method England have made use of before, putting batsmen and bowlers under pressure situations rather than just the normal net routine, and led to Kevin Pietersen getting a painful blow in the throat although there was no lasting damage as he prepared for his final international appearance of the summer.

"It was designed to put the guys under match pressure and you get value for your shots," Broad said. "As a bowler you see if you can get a yorker in the hole or a batsman gets hold of it. We did a first six [over] scenario, a spin scenario and a death scenario just to get used to it. The guys got a lot out of it, a few players struck some big blows and the bowlers nailed their skills as well. We created intensity in the field that we will expect to see.

"You see guys playing under pressure and it was good to get out of the middle. From my point of view I've not bowled on that square since it has been turned around. You got a sense of the size of the boundaries and players how they will strike it."

For Broad, however, his time in charge of the national side is brief. Two days of training followed by the match will be the sum of his leadership until the two Twenty20 matches against West Indies which have been tagged onto the end of the season. They are now looking very important in Broad's development of this team and he accepts he has to make the best use of whatever chances he gets.

"We get three days every couple of months so you have to make use of these opportunities," he said. "And then you get a World Cup where you can build up momentum and take that into the World Cup like we did Caribbean. Three months before that tournament we lost to the Lions in Abu Dhabi, then we were beating the best sides in the world. You have to make use of these opportunities and these sculpt your squad."

England's World Twenty20 defence in Sri Lanka is now little more than 12 months away and, although plans came together at the last minute for the 2010 edition, Broad and Andy Flower will want to have some settled ideas by the end of the summer. A victory against India would be a good place to start.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hollis on August 31, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Test cricket is obviously different from 20 overs cricket. But of course there are some commonalities. Lets hope for India's sake their team make a difference in this tournament.

  • Shanmugam on August 31, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    @ddmumbaiindian, you are right about priorities. Ashes is the #1 priority for England fans. A world cup would be nice but tests are more important. You would find more England fans celebrating the #1 ranking in tests than the T20 world cup. However, Australia have won 4 world cups, so I am not sure what you are talking about. The point Lmaosetung was trying to make was that instead of 1 finals, we could have a best of three finals (like the CB series in Australia until 2008). Also, luck mostly favors the home team. That doesn't mean the host team always wins. In fact, till India's win this year, no home team has won the world cup. SL played most of its games in 1996 at home but the final was in Pakistan. England managed to reach the finals once and the semis twice in the first 3 world cups (it is still a surprise how they managed to lose to eventual champions India in 1983) and were knocked out in the first round in 1999 (but they were rubbish then).

  • Subba on August 31, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    1. The match starts at 10-30 pm India time. Dont miss it or else you may miss Rahul Dravid's entire T20 career. 2. Also dont miss it to see if the 'new, brainy and aggressive' England skipper gets hit again for 6 sixes in an over or at least 6 sixes in his quota of overs. Something tells me he will get clobbered.

  • Pelham on August 31, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    @davidpk: Jos Buttler joins the Somerset team tomorrow - Stephen Snell is a full replacement in the team to day - so he could still be selected this evening.

  • Alan on August 31, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    @lmaotsetung: actually what's remarkable in world cup history is how the host nation has tended *not* to do well. India this year were actually the first team hosting the world cup final to win it. Sri Lanka in 1996 were not the team hosting the final, or semi-final (although they did host some of the group games - fewer than planned because Australia and West Indies refused to play there): it was India who hosted these and that did not do them any good when they were beaten by Sri Lanka in their semi final, much to Indian fans' consternation. In one-match elimation or group stage, the array of host teams who have flopped in the world cup is really striking: England in the first tournament, India and Pakistan in 1987 and 1996, Pollock's South Africa in 2003, Lara's West Indies in 2007, England in 1999, even Border's Australians in 1992 ... India this year really bucked the trend

  • david on August 31, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    as buttler is playing for somerset in their current match. what a pity i would have played him even if not as wicketkeeper.pity great chance missed. dpk

  • Dhaval on August 31, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    @Lmaosetung, as per your comment if home team has advantage in World Cups, England should have won 4 world cups. Also Eng team has featured in WC finals for 3 times, and have always lost. So its aparant they are not capable of winning it. As Indian players are termed greedy to prefer IPL over tests, lets be very frank Eng and Aus players were more interested in winning Ashes than WC. Eng debacle in WC was only due to fatigue in Ashes. So all depends upon the priority of a team.

  • Alan on August 31, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    England were pretty inept in their last twenty20 international. It's all very well bringing in these three new players, but it was the bowling which really struggled, not least the skipper. Can anyone explain the sequencing of world twenty20 cups to me? 2007, then 2009, then 2010, then 2012 ... It doesn't make sense. How come Pakistan get to call themselves world champions for only one year but England are able to do it for two?

  • Martin on August 31, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    @Dhivakaran; at least you are right about the "brash talk" of some of the indian commenters here. But you have once again quoted history and quoting history is a mistaken basis on which to crow, as we saw in the Tests. But if you like history and history is all that you understand - try this history; Recently England batsmen were scoring for fun and were not challenged by indian "bowlers" in the last World Cup or in the Tests (LOL) and recently England Bowlers were taking wickets for fun in the Tests. @screamingeagle; your point looks like just another irrelevent history lesson. @rahulcricket007 - turn your caps lock off.

  • Pelham on August 31, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @rahulcricket007: 1. Please do not shout at us - in other words, please do not use all capitals. 2. Yes England lost heavily to Sri Lanka, but a narrow defeat would have had the same effect on England's progress in the competition, so the margin of defeat was irrelevant to the comment I was making.

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