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George Dobell at Headingley
August 3, 2012
Despite resuming on the third day with a deficit of 371 runs, Stuart Broad has insisted that England can still win the second Test at Leeds and level the series against South Africa.
Having been put in by England, South Africa scored 419 but Broad, the England allrounder, called on his team-mates to replicate their efforts of 12 months ago at Edgbaston when they amassed 710 for 7 against India, with Alastair Cook contributing an epic 294. Then, according to Broad, England will be in a good position to exploit any uneven bounce in the pitch on the last day.
"We need one of those Edgbaston knocks - 600 or so - and then to put South Africa under pressure on the last day," Broad said. "I think this wicket will eventually get lower, and that's where the four quick bowlers can come into their own - hitting the pitch, and the ball going underground.
"We need to learn from what the South Africans did as well. We're in no rush here with the bat. We can just settle in, take our time and try to build as big a total as we can. Our number one priority with the bat is to try to be patient, and look as big as we can.
"Being none down for us was vital tonight, and tomorrow morning the first hour will be huge - because we all have one job, and that's to bat as big and as long as we possibly can."
Broad defended England's decision to insert South Africa and their decision to omit a specialist spinner from their side for the first time since 2003. While part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen claimed the wicket of Jacques Rudolph with just his second delivery - a sharply turning offbreak - Broad suggested that was a one-off and the pitch would not offer much assistance to South Africa's legspinner Imran Tahir.
"There's always that expectation and pressure when you win the toss and bowl, that the opposition team won't get 400," Broad said. "But wicket-wise, I don't think it was that dangerous to bat on. It took a fantastic knock from Petersen, with 180. He played and missed a huge amount, but obviously played fantastically well to get there. It took that to stop us bowling them out a little bit cheaper.
"I think Rudolph was quite unlucky - because it was the only ball that turned all day. Nothing else really did anything. There were a few raised eyebrows when that ball did turn but nothing else really threatened, so I don't think there are too many panic alarms."
Broad did sound one note of caution. Headingley has a reputation as a ground that favours seamers when there is heavy cloud cover and he admitted England would rather the game was a rain-ruined draw than have to face Dale Steyn and co. in bowler-friendly conditions.
"We hope the weather will be good to us," Broad said. "We hope it is either sunny, or raining, because we don't want that heavy cloud. We'd be in a bit of trouble then.
"That was one of the reasons why we bowled first. The forecast was so bad over the weekend, our best chance was to try to bowl South Africa out on day one and then the ball was in our court. But we can't do much about the weather."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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