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Broad confident of being ready for World Cup

Andrew McGlashan in Sydney

January 31, 2011

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Stuart Broad was ruled out of England's Ashes tour by a torn abdominal muscle, Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day, December 6, 2010
Stuart Broad is back with the England squad but hasn't been cleared to play matches yet © Getty Images
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Stuart Broad has taken the glass-half-full view of the injury lay-off that forced him to miss the last three Ashes Test and current one-day series, believing he will benefit from the rest over the next year. Broad suffered an abdominal strain on the fourth day in Adelaide and is still working his way back towards full fitness, but is confident of being ready for the start of the World Cup.

He returned to the squad mid-way through this one-day series to continue his recovery away from the British winter, aware that there is a rapid turnaround to the World Cup with England's first game against Netherlands on February 22. Broad is eager to get back into action, but even with the current injury crisis in the squad, he won't be getting a game in Australia.

"I don't think the doctors will even let Straussy ask that question," he said. "I'm keen to play but I don't think it will happen. I've been unfortunate to miss the last seven weeks but we have got a huge amount of cricket coming up so this little break might just help me fire on all cylinders for the next year or so.

"I'm probably a little bit ahead of schedule. I probably bowled at 50-60 percent yesterday and pulled up fine this morning. Hopefully by the end of the Australia tour I'll have come off near a full run-up, my aim is to try and play the first warm-up game of the World Cup so I'm hopeful of that."

Broad is crucial to England's World Cup chances because, even though the fringe bowlers have performed well in Australia, his aggressive, in-your-face style, will be important on flat pitches. He is also one of the team's key Powerplay and death bowlers, while also featuring heavily in the middle overs when breakthroughs are needed.

"I'm desperate to get back playing, it's felt like a long seven and a half weeks," he said. "I love playing cricket, that's what I do, so it's hard when you injured and don't get to try and improve yourself. I'm certainly looking forward to getting back playing and there's a lot of cricket coming up."

He was the only injury England suffered during their successful Ashes campaign, but since then bowlers have dropped like flies with the workload catching up with them. Tim Bresnan (calf) and Graeme Swann (back) have flown home to try and recover in time for the World Cup while Ajmal Shahzad limped off during the Brisbane ODI with a hamstring strain and Chris Tremlett, a possible replacement for the squad if needed, has a side strain.

"I think the injuries are pretty minor so I don't think it will affect any balance to the World Cup squad or anything like that," he said, "but it's a little frustrating in this series to have lost as many players as we have. It's been hard to find the right balance that we'll go into the World Cup with. But you can't do anything about injuries and after a lot of cricket on this tour I think we've done well with the amount of injuries we've had."

Despite having to sit out the final three Ashes Tests and miss the moments of glory at Melbourne and Sydney there is no resentment from Broad who, apart from the bitter weather in the UK, enjoyed every moment of the team's success on television.

"It wasn't difficult, it was brilliant to see. I'm an England fan at the end of the day. It was great to see the lads perform so well. It was difficult because it was freezing cold with snow everywhere. Obviously I was disappointed to miss out on those celebrations and achievements, but I still feel part of the team. It was fantastic to see and enjoyable to watch."

Although the tour is finishing on a sour note with the one-day series loss, Broad doesn't think it should take the gloss off what has been achieved. "I don't think England players deserve to have any negative memories about the tour so it's important we finish this series strongly and look back with great fondness on the last three months."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by voma on (February 1, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

People seem to have forgoten broads 5 for 37 at the oval , to win the ashes . 124 odi wickets in 73 games , thats not to bad going . Somehow cant see stuart worrying to much about selection , or someone having to pull some strings . ha ha ha .

Posted by pakwellwisher on (February 1, 2011, 9:46 GMT)

Why bother Broad, its funny how sometimes inspite of knowing deep down inside that they dont stand a chance want to participate.England,Ireland are a few examples.

Posted by chokkashokka on (February 1, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

I get a feeling that this kid will get the scars of Durban reopened in Bangalore....

Posted by Something_Witty on (January 31, 2011, 23:05 GMT)

Why exactly would the England players WANT to return home? Ok so in Australia, we're currently experiencing lovely warm weather, now that the ridiculous rains have stopped for the most part, it's not too humid, nice and dry. Then you've got England, which has spent most of the last month or two under 10 feet of snow.... The poms are probably loving the nice warm weather and sunshine they're getting. Re: Broad the test bowler, yes he is young, but he's actually quite experienced. (He's played nearly as many matches as Mitchell Johnson), so if he hasn't learned anything in that time, it doesn't matter how young he is, it doesn't look like he's going to learn.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2011, 23:01 GMT)

@Optic - Broad is useful, but the other bowlers used in the last 3 tests are better than him, but the"passing the bat" is an interesting term in reference to Broad. He passed the bat because he was short & wide of off stump. Anderson "passed' the bat near the stumps on a full length. Oz failed to really cash in on his bowling, (poor team management). His economy was more reflective of poor bowling. He does have time to improve - my feeling is he won't. His usefulness is primarily as a an allrounder - he may be able to in the future bat around 6 in the line up. Statistically he is similar to Flintoff (averages) with bat & ball, (I don't mean strike bowler, more Watto). This all depends on him improving technique & not just being a slogger.

Posted by Optic on (January 31, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

@Aussasinator I agree, I think even for the fans of each side, it's like enough is enough, we'd like to play someone else now.Including all the warm up games these tours are huge and apart form England and Australia no other team goes through the same length of series.I would prefer it if we play the Ashes and then Aus come over to England in the summer or England go to Aus to just play a ODI series by itself. @Lions11 Broad is rated as a young up and coming bowler,so how is that overrating him, tbh the average of 80 doesn't show how well he bowled where he passed the bat loads and only went at 2 rpo.Broad started as a ODI bowler and has matured into a very good one day bowler where he averages 25, but he was promoted to the test team too early, even though that was mostly down to injuries. But over the last 18 months he's got faster and more accurate, with not as many bad balls, . He was great during the 20/20 WC and proved he had lots of variation for the slow pitches.

Posted by landl47 on (January 31, 2011, 16:17 GMT)

Broad is an important part of England's team, both as a test player and at in ODIs. he's got good control (although he didn't get the wickets in the tests he played, he was England's most economical bowler) and his height makes him difficult to play. He's still only 24, so he's got time on his side. People writing him off need to remember that.

Posted by Lions11 on (January 31, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

England might be missing his services in ODI. Having said that, it was better for England that he was out of the Ashes team. He is an overrated bowler for the Test match cricket with an average above 35. This showed in the first two Ashes test with bowling average above 80. The bowling in the last three test looks for settled and threatening. He is the same guy who was hit for 6 sixes in an over. It won't be easy for him to bowl in the WC.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 31, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

Why did he shave his head? Looking forward to the World Cup, will Broad adjust? He has been known as the "bang in" bowler. In the subcontinent, you can "bang in" all you want, batsmen will just take you for runs.

Posted by Aussasinator on (January 31, 2011, 11:01 GMT)

The tour is getting over and England dont even seem to be worried about the ODI losses. They just seem keen on getting back home after such an extra long tour and get into the mindset for the World Cup. These Oz tours are twice as long as other tours and take a heavy toll of the visiting team. Infact the visiting team must be sick and tired after the test series, and if they've won it, they would be high, drunk and tired. Cant really blame them. No Australian tour schedule should be more than 2 months. It cuts into the rest & cricketing calendar hugely. India should take note of this.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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