England v India, 1st Test, Lord's July 16, 2007

Broad braced for new challenge

Cricinfo staff



Stuart Broad: following in his father's footsteps © Getty Images
After his five-wicket haul for England Lions against the Indian tourists at Chelmsford this week, Stuart Broad is expected to be propelled straight into the starting line-up for Thursday's first Test at Lord's, and he is relishing the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his father, Chris, who played 25 Tests as an opening batsman in the late-1980s.

"I speak to him most days - not really about anything technical, but just about enjoying the game," said Broad of his father. "He's a great man to speak to about anything like that because he's been there and done it, had the ups and downs. He's just told me to enjoy it if I get the chance."

Broad jr was named on Sunday in a 13-man squad for the Lord's Test, and immediately with second-innings figures of 5 for 76 as the Chelmsford fixture petered out to a draw. His 6'5" frame and ability to extract sharp bounce from a good length makes him the likeliest candidate to take over from Steve Harmison, who aggravated a hernia injury while fielding for Durham against Sussex at Horsham this week.

"I feel comfortable in that environment," he said of the England dressing-room. "I'm not too nervous about turning up, because I know all the lads. I've been on A tours with the likes of Matt Prior, and at the academy with Cooky [Alastair Cook].

Broad is still only 21, but his rise in international cricket has been as rapid as the growth spurt that converted him from an opening batsman into an opening bowler in the summer of 2004. "Suddenly just bowling in the nets, I realised at 6'5" it was bouncing a bit more and was more awkward. I went to Australia for six months and just bowled out there - opening the batting and bowling with a club."