Sri Lanka in England 2011 July 4, 2011

Wickets prove elusive for Broad


It's been an expensive few days for Stuart Broad, both in financial terms and in his bowling figures. He remains wicketless in the one-day series against Sri Lanka and has been hit with a £1500 fine for swearing at Billy Bowden during the second game at Headingley.

At Lord's on Sunday, Broad ran in hard and produced one of his sharpest spells of the summer as he peppered Dinesh Chandimal with short balls. At one point he was bowling with a short leg and leg gully. However, the batsmen fended off deliveries wide or short of fielders to push Broad towards boiling point.

He ended with figures of none for 52 from 10 overs which took his series tally to none for 154 at 5.92 runs per over. However, cricket, as ever, is a game of fine margins and if a couple of edges had gone to hand, Broad's series would look different and Alastair Cook, England's one-day captain, believes a change of fortune isn't far away.

"A couple of those chances when he was bowling aggressively, they can hit the glove and bounce up but they kept avoiding fielders," Cook said. "At the moment it's not quite going for Broady, a bit like the Tests, but this what cricket does. If he gets five-for at his home ground next week it will be worth it."

The incident with Bowden at Headingley, which came after an lbw appeal was turned down in the final over of Sri Lanka's innings, was a sign of the frustration getting to Broad, who has skirted a fine line with officials in the past. It has put Cook in the interesting position of having to keep tabs on one of his fast bowlers, who is also captain of the Twenty20 team.

"He overstepped the mark, he accepts that, but he bowled well and made life uncomfortable, which is what Stuart does well," Cook said. "Broady has always played that way, it's why he's got so far in the game so quickly. Occasionally he has overstepped the mark and he knows that. When you are wrong you put your hands up."

Cook's mention of Broad's home ground at Trent Bridge, the venue for the fourth one-day international on Wednesday, suggests he is secure of his place for at least another match but England can't carry a wicketless bowler for too long. He was unconvincing in the Test series against Sri Lanka with eight wickets at 48.75 and lost the new-ball role to Chris Tremlett in the second innings at the Rose Bowl, which appeared to motivate him.

With India's top-class batting line-up around the corner, and England set for a four-man attack in the Test matches, they can't afford to carry any passengers even if Broad is an international captain. There are plenty of other candidates lining up for a chance, a list headed by Steven Finn who is in the current one-day squad.

Jade Dernbach was 12th man for the Lord's Test against Sri Lanka while Tim Bresnan, who performed so impressively in the Ashes, is now back to fitness. England showed how keen they were to have Bresnan in the team by rushing him into the side for the first ODI at The Oval. Graham Onions is also bowling well for Durham and is well-regarded in the England set-up.

It could be that the impact of Broad's winter injuries is still being felt. He only played five of England's 21 internationals across the Ashes and World Cup due to the stomach-muscle problem picked up in Adelaide and side strain against South Africa in Nagpur. He started the season slowly for Nottinghamshire and has looked short of a gallop ever since.

Nottinghamshire have one Championship match, against Somerset starting on July 11, before the first Test against India and regardless of how the final two one-dayers go against Sri Lanka Broad will surely need to play that match. As he showed against Australia in 2009 when he came out of a lean trot with 12 wickets in the final two Tests, including an Ashes-sealing 5 for 37 at The Oval, it doesn't take much to turn the corner. Broad needs that to happen soon.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nabeel on July 6, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    my god broad got randiv out!

  • Pranav on July 6, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Broad is soo over hyped, hes a decent one, can pull off a matching winning performance once or maybe twice a year, tops. Hes here cuz of his Father. T20 captain, seriously?? England will get hammered at the t20 cup in SL next year. Another great point that Nasir Hussian and David Gower kept bringing up during SL battting in the 3rd odi. When the ball doesnt do anything, Englant are "toothless" - Nasir Hussian, and i agree with that! look at englands WC 2011 performace. SL and IND get bashed on for being flat track bullies, but our top batsmen average about 50 outside the subcontinent, while batsmen outside the subcontinent average well below 50 in the subcont. Obvs ,theres many exceptions. But ones gotta hand it to the subcontinet fast bowlers. They take wickets on flat tracts, but then on seaming pitches become even more leathal. Example: Zak, Malinga, Chaminda Vass, Ishant, Umar Gul, Aktar, Ifran Phatan and Mohamed Amir Till they played were amazing. England bowlers need work!!!

  • maj on July 6, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Broad is a player that the ECB invested in, trying to nurture and bring him through, which is why his performances have not been questioned, until now. I kind of like that policy and thinking, but on the other hand when you have bowlers waiting in the wings such as Onions, Tremlett, Finn, Shehzad and im sure there are a few more, it would seem unfair on them. I also think that the ECB's "Investment policy" reflects on his attitude.

  • Darren on July 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    If Bresnan had been fit or Shahzad in better form then I believe Broad would have been rested for the Sri Lanka test series and come back for the ODI's with the confidence of several games under his belt however injuries forced England to rush Broad back early. i believe he bowled poorly at first but is bowling much better now but with no luck so this is not the time to drop him. I am also amused by the comments suggesting that England is a bowler's paradise and the ball swings prodigiously at every ground and that the English bowlers can only operate effecively in such conditions. Have people forgotten the last Ashes series already?

  • Philip on July 6, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    I was surprised to say the least when Broad was made T20 captain. Well, actually I wasn't that surprised - the gentleman in question seems to have lead a charmed international cricketing life. Don't think he's going to charm too many umpires from now out though - the die may be cast there. I am surprised that Meety favours Davies as the keeper. Kieswetter is hardly world class and Prior slightly less so, but is Davies really any better? Whatever happened to the land of hope, glory and good glovemen?

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    yuvi is back in test squad to add on to broad's worries.. haha!!

  • Giles on July 5, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Bell has to go and Broad should keep him company in Country cricket - Bell has had more chances than a Monopoly board and Broad needs to learn how to take wickets again, rather than acting like a scolded child all the time. I would rather see Patel have a good run at things than Bell again. I reckon get Shazad back in - he has a GREAT attitude and did really well, he's young and keen - give him a go.

  • Bob on July 5, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    With Trent Bridge, Broad's home ground, coming up it would be an opportune moment to bring Broad down to earth and make him realise that he isn't as indispensible as he thinks he is... However, it's unlikely to happen... So with the current seemingly inflexible selection policy, it looks like we're stuck with his inability to take wickets and his immature attitude for at least one more ODI...And some people wonder why England are where they are in the ODI table. On current form and with the World Champions coming next, we aren't likely to improve on that situation.

  • Grant on July 5, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    When Broad was first in the team, there was a chance that he could turn into a world beater. That hasn't happened and now isn't going to. That doesn't make him an awful player, but there is less reason to cut him so much slack as the question is now just "is he good enough?". I'd drop him (although not discard him) at the moment. Interesting viewsfrom Meety. I agree with some, but I disagree about Anderson not being a one day bowler- true he had a shocking WC and ODI series in Aus but he cantake a top order out which puts you in the box seat regardless of format. Interesting to see someone who rates Yardy. I'm thoroughly fed up with this glib "England can only play in the damp" bandwagon though.

  • Preethi on July 5, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    why isnt Bopara in the squad? Seeing his yesterdays knock for ESSEX.. I think he should be selected atleast for 4th odi ahead of trott ..

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