World Twenty20 2012 September 14, 2012

Broad takes reins for England defence

England's Twenty20 captain gave a practised response to questions about the absent Kevin Pietersen before offering praise for his young side
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American presidents like to set the tone of their presidency in the first 100 days, but they have it lucky. In roughly the same timespan since Kevin Pietersen retired from England's one-day side and set in motion a chain of events that have reverberated ever since, Stuart Broad has had little chance to do anything except await his return to high office.

Now he has his chance. Broad, England's Twenty20 captain, arrives in Sri Lanka with his England team for World Twenty20 confident in the knowledge that he has left the KP affair, and the politics that surround it, to others. Now he can concentrate exclusively on the cricket. Or at least he thought he could until the words "Kevin Pietersen" were mentioned in the very first sentence of his very first question in his very first press conference. From that point, if only to avoid repetition, Pietersen questions were abruptly stilled.

There was simply no escape - not until the ECB's media officer decided enough was enough at any rate, which judging by this evidence at least was the time that somebody remarked meaningfully, as if we didn't know, that Pietersen was player of the tournament when England, against expectations, won World Twenty20 under Paul Collingwood's stewardship in the Caribbean two years ago.

Collingwood has since loyally tipped England to defend their title--"we would be a better team skill-wise with KP but would it be a happier team?" he asked - and Broad has got his responses off pat. If he cannot entirely stop the questions he can at least parrot the same answers.

"I think it was 2nd of June when KP retired from the one-day and Twenty20 format so we have had a bit of time to plan without him," Broad reminded everyone, adding that England could still field eight of the players who had won the tournament. It was actually May 31, but he can be forgiven a spot of jetlag so soon after England's flight touched down in Colombo. It probably also explained his assertion, quickly corrected, that their "only focus was on getting that flight to South Africa". Even now he is probably pacing the streets in an unrewarding search for biltong.

But back to the moral of Broad's story: an innings of 99 made at Trent Bridge by one of his Nottinghamshire team-mates. "Alex Hales came in for the game against the West Indies and got the highest score by an England player in this format," Broad said. "The 15 guys who are here are really excited to be here and represent England in a World Cup and that is what you want when you get on the plane."

Jos Buttler's 32 from ten balls against South Africa on a rain-affected night at Edgbaston has also been adopted as proof that England's less celebrated middle-order batsmen can succeed, even if the likes of Buttler himself, Jonny Bairstow and Craig Kieswetter are unproven on the subcontinent.

"Unproven is probably the right word," Broad conceded, "but that doesn't mean they are not good enough. The likes of Buttler, Bairstow and Kieswetter toured with the Lions here earlier this year and when we went to the Caribbean and won we had two debutants walk out and open the batting for us in Michael Lumb and Kieswetter.

"Experience is a strange thing in T20 cricket. If you have played Test cricket for the last few years you don't actually get to play a lot of Twenty20 cricket. The likes of Jos Buttler have played a lot more Twenty20 cricket than say Graeme Swann or myself."

The England perspective on T20 is a strange one. India come here with confidence bolstered from the annual emphasis on the IPL. The more successful England players become, the less they play T20 as their opportunities in the IPL are rare and they infrequently play in the domestic FLt20 tournament because it is submerged by England's international programme.

As for the captain, Broad has been in the job for 18 months. He finds his team top of the rankings even though he has never skippered them for more than a week at a time. No wonder he says that, although he is proud of England's No. 1 status, rankings don't mean a great deal. But if England must defend their title in Sri Lanka then September, which may be more favourable than some months for the quicks, is not a bad time to do it.

"This is a great opportunity to have a month in charge and devote my skills as a captain and see what the guys are like in a longer format," he said. He meant a shorter format. His part-time job has yet to give him worry lines, but the jetlag was clearly messing with his mind. It was time to go and have a lie down.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on September 17, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    @MattyP1979 on (September 16 2012, 20:42 PM GMT) I'd say Australia still have a chance and I'm not going to diss them just because some of their fans diss us - they did better vs SA away than we did at home the same vs SL and have trumped us in the test arena in the last year. They still have match winners with the bat such as Hussey,Warner and Watson. I have concerns such as Kieswetter getting bogged down and Broad's bowling but there have also been some positives such as Buttler's recent inns and Swann seems to be bowling beautifully and I think his form could be crucial.

  • MattyP1979 on September 16, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    JG2704. I think Eng have a very good chance of defeding their title. Sure being hit an hope alot is down to luck, but Eng are one of the stronger teams for sure. Aus are not a major nation in this format (and soon any). 20/20 is where you breed youngsters into the bigger formats and since talent in OZ is waffer thin it is no wonder they are ranked below Irl. I suppose we will have to wait and see but should be a good 'torney'.

  • on September 16, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Any team which gets beaten by Afghanistan is in trouble, if their second game gets washed out and have to share points! And, rains are around the corner.

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @amitgarg78 on (September 15 2012, 17:47 PM GMT) I thought Broad was cleared of anything to do with the Twitter account. And even so , wasn't KP outed on the back of the texts he sent to SA players which has nothing to do with Broad or any other Eng player.

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @Baundele on (September 16 2012, 05:43 AM GMT) Probably true - now Bopara is out - but he probably wouldn't have been when he was made captain. What I'd like to see from Broad is when bowling ,if others are going for less runs then him - even part timers - for Broad to let them bowl ahead of him , but then again I suppose as a bowler you always have that mentality that if you go for runs one over you want the opportunity to pull it back

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    I'd say this tournament is pretty open.SL and India would probably be favourites alongside SA. India and SL have not been as great at T20 as you'd think with the players they've got and with it being such a huge thing but to be fair both are big tournament teams. Will SA get it right this time or will they end up being the Holland (football)of the cricket world ?Then I think all the rest are pretty evenly matched.WI have a juicy outfit on paper and Narine may be as key as Gayle.NZ have some explosive hitters and will rely heavily on the nous of Vettori.Pak,I'd say will rely more on their bowling than batting. Australia look the weakest (on paper) of the major nations but you still have quality in Watson.Warner,Hussey etc and they are always there or thereabouts in the big tournaments.Re Eng it's highly unlikely we'll defend our crown.KP will be a big loss but on the plus side our bowling attack still does a good job and we can hope that Morgan,Luke and the 2 JBs fire wire with the bat

  • on September 16, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    game over for england beat T20 player out they deserve to be in london soon.

  • Baundele on September 16, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    The irony is, Broad is England's worst performer at the moment and he has been appointed the captain.

  • RandyOZ on September 16, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Broad in charge? Huge blow for England.

  • SamRoy on September 16, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Let's see whether England qualify for semi-finals in the first place and then we can all talk about who's going to win it!

  • JG2704 on September 17, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    @MattyP1979 on (September 16 2012, 20:42 PM GMT) I'd say Australia still have a chance and I'm not going to diss them just because some of their fans diss us - they did better vs SA away than we did at home the same vs SL and have trumped us in the test arena in the last year. They still have match winners with the bat such as Hussey,Warner and Watson. I have concerns such as Kieswetter getting bogged down and Broad's bowling but there have also been some positives such as Buttler's recent inns and Swann seems to be bowling beautifully and I think his form could be crucial.

  • MattyP1979 on September 16, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    JG2704. I think Eng have a very good chance of defeding their title. Sure being hit an hope alot is down to luck, but Eng are one of the stronger teams for sure. Aus are not a major nation in this format (and soon any). 20/20 is where you breed youngsters into the bigger formats and since talent in OZ is waffer thin it is no wonder they are ranked below Irl. I suppose we will have to wait and see but should be a good 'torney'.

  • on September 16, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Any team which gets beaten by Afghanistan is in trouble, if their second game gets washed out and have to share points! And, rains are around the corner.

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @amitgarg78 on (September 15 2012, 17:47 PM GMT) I thought Broad was cleared of anything to do with the Twitter account. And even so , wasn't KP outed on the back of the texts he sent to SA players which has nothing to do with Broad or any other Eng player.

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @Baundele on (September 16 2012, 05:43 AM GMT) Probably true - now Bopara is out - but he probably wouldn't have been when he was made captain. What I'd like to see from Broad is when bowling ,if others are going for less runs then him - even part timers - for Broad to let them bowl ahead of him , but then again I suppose as a bowler you always have that mentality that if you go for runs one over you want the opportunity to pull it back

  • JG2704 on September 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    I'd say this tournament is pretty open.SL and India would probably be favourites alongside SA. India and SL have not been as great at T20 as you'd think with the players they've got and with it being such a huge thing but to be fair both are big tournament teams. Will SA get it right this time or will they end up being the Holland (football)of the cricket world ?Then I think all the rest are pretty evenly matched.WI have a juicy outfit on paper and Narine may be as key as Gayle.NZ have some explosive hitters and will rely heavily on the nous of Vettori.Pak,I'd say will rely more on their bowling than batting. Australia look the weakest (on paper) of the major nations but you still have quality in Watson.Warner,Hussey etc and they are always there or thereabouts in the big tournaments.Re Eng it's highly unlikely we'll defend our crown.KP will be a big loss but on the plus side our bowling attack still does a good job and we can hope that Morgan,Luke and the 2 JBs fire wire with the bat

  • on September 16, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    game over for england beat T20 player out they deserve to be in london soon.

  • Baundele on September 16, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    The irony is, Broad is England's worst performer at the moment and he has been appointed the captain.

  • RandyOZ on September 16, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Broad in charge? Huge blow for England.

  • SamRoy on September 16, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Let's see whether England qualify for semi-finals in the first place and then we can all talk about who's going to win it!

  • MattyP1979 on September 16, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    This format is just a bit of fun. Reduced overs brings the lesser teams into contention. WI have a very good chance at winning this and cannot buy a result at test level. The one good thing is that home advantage is also negated some what. Broad as captain I will never be convinced and KP in or out matters little in this format. Be good to see Eng retain the title though.

  • JG2704 on September 15, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @EmperorDravid on (September 15 2012, 12:20 PM GMT) Good to see some original , well thought out comments here

  • JG2704 on September 15, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (September 15 2012, 01:43 AM GMT) I'd say leave Bopara out. He does get plenty of opportunities and will do so again. As Nasser said he goes through runs of form good and bad and right now he's starting a bad run. I'd also say that it's been his bowling which has kept him in the side and even that was a shambles last time out. Also - IMO - it's not like he's a Morgan or KP where if he does fire he's likely to be a game changer.

  • amitgarg78 on September 15, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    If England do go on to lose without KP, he won't have anyone but himself to blame. His role in the KP issue has been far from ideal.

  • EmperorDravid on September 15, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    England had only one decent T-20 player but they kicked him out. Still it would be fun to see how far the South Africa 'B' team goes in the WC.

  • BigMachine on September 15, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @jmcilinney Bopara is a difficult one - a decent player who adds balance to the team, but he's so dreadfully out of nick and if you play him in both games you deprive another player of match practice. As much as I like Bopara, I think his poor form at the moment is too much of a risk - the turning pitches are not they place to try and play yourself back into form and confidence

  • sharidas on September 15, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Could'nt England find anyone else to captain the team ?

  • JG2704 on September 15, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    @Hira1 on (September 14 2012, 17:23 PM GMT) KP will not be playing in this WC - get over it .

  • JG2704 on September 15, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    @bharath74 on (September 15 2012, 02:40 AM GMT) But he turned into a mouse when England reps wanted to meet up with him

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 15, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @landl47: Respect for your thoughts. Everyone has their share of likes and dislikes in life. I ADORE T20s more than tests. Some purists will never acknowledge this format and fair enough. However you can be sure that there will be some cracking matches; T20s always have them by and large. I think England have a decent team with many young and skilled players. It will surely be an interesting tournament for them.

  • bharath74 on September 15, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    KP situation looks like a bunch of hyenas against a Lion. KP is a legend so is the king of forest.

  • on September 15, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    The fact that England don't play a lot of T20 cricket is a good thing. T20 is fun to watch and all, but at the end of the day, Test cricket is the true symbol of what it means to be a cricketer, and if there are players who don't think this, then they don't deserve to play cricket. Simple as that. England will likely not win this time around, but they have proved over the last 3 or 4 years that they have some amazing cricketers and can win the big time. Good luck England!

  • jmcilhinney on September 15, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    England have two warm-ups before the tournament proper so I think that they need to play Bopara in the first one and give him one last chance to find some form. If he doesn't score then he goes to the back of the queue and they hope that they don't get to the point where they need him again. Those warm-ups are both against substantial opposition so that's a plus.

  • RVC-38 on September 15, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    @Hira1... yes i read that on his twitter account.

  • on September 14, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    This time around the tournament looks exciting as there are no clear favourites. Everyone looks strong on the paper, but who shall prevail, only time will tell.

  • landl47 on September 14, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    Good luck to the England boys- and I use that word advisedly, since they are among the youngest teams participating. Bangladesh has a younger average age, but has 3 players over 27 (England has 2) and Afghanistan is the youngest team of all, but of the serious contenders England is by far the youngest. I doubt if I will watch much of the tournament; I don't care for the format, as anyone who has read my posts will know. Nevertheless, I hope England does well. I don't expect them to win, but I didn't expect them to win last time either. In this format, one over can make the difference.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 14, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    He will have a tough time out there. It's easy when you have senior and magnificent players like Collingwood and KP in your side like England did last time around. Too many youngsters this time around and they would have needed an experienced head to guide them; like you know who ! They have to some how manage to cope with the slow pitches in SL. If England win their tosses, they should bat first all the time. Chasing could get ugly.

  • yorkshirematt on September 14, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Not convinceed about broad as captain in any format. Is it too late to draft in Azeem Rafiq? He masterminded Yorkshire's run to the FLT20 quarter finals while Gale was injured

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 14, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    The captain's allowed to drop himself and stay on the bench isn't he? I remember Vettori did it in the last IPL because of lack of form. Broad's bowling in my opinion is off the boil of late, and unless he picks up some speed and variation etc. he is a weak link.

  • Hira1 on September 14, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Broad might not bring the cup but will bring back a happier team without KP...Good luck Broad and English team

  • on September 14, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    broad get ready to be wallopped...esply as a bowler...LOL

  • teadrinker on September 14, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    After the washout at Manchester and the 11 over thrash at Birmingham, SB probably DID mean 'the longer format'

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    The kid is not shy enough to hide his aspirations, to be a full-fledged captain. See this. ... "This is a great opportunity to have a month in charge and devote my skills as a captain and see what the guys are like in a longer format," he said.... Hopp is trying to bail him out though, saying that Broad perhaps meant something else. Hope Hopp is successful in his effort, but not quite!

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    I noticed one area, where England is very strong at the moment; the number of wicket keepers. Four of them at the same time! Prior, Kieswetter, Buttler, & Bairstow. And three of them have landed together in Colombo for the world cup. Probably all three also may be in the playing XI. Whoever keeps the wicket can take any amount of physical risk in the full knowledge that there are two standbys right on the field. How many teams have that strength? (Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are the favorites to win. In fact, there are far too many favorites this time. But England is not one of them)

  • Narbavi on September 14, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Lol, so much for being defending champions, lumb, kieswetter and especially pietersen were the architects behind the win last time, and without KP, this team is done for, especially if the pitches take turn!!

  • SpizenFire on September 14, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Moment of truth ..... having said that, none of the ex-T20 WC champions have retained their crown ... BUT, that can't be an excuse for us, as we have wilfully dropped KP (or rather forced his retirement) to fly a 'happier' team to SL to 'retain T20 WC crown'. I for one will surely be distressed IF we lose close games AND instinctively wish KP should be out there to bring the crown home! A IF and an AND. Come on guys ... you got what YOU wanted, now back your stance and prove yourselves correct and cricket fans wrong ... else ... hope you won't need reminding what is the correct thing to do.

  • SurlyCynic on September 14, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    If it's a choice between Broad and KP in a T20 team I choose KP any day of the week. Broad is extremely average as a T20 bowler... and Yuvi is waiting for him again!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 14, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Broad, a quality cricketer and all-rounder, and a young and energetic captain.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 14, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Broad, a quality cricketer and all-rounder, and a young and energetic captain.

  • SurlyCynic on September 14, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    If it's a choice between Broad and KP in a T20 team I choose KP any day of the week. Broad is extremely average as a T20 bowler... and Yuvi is waiting for him again!

  • SpizenFire on September 14, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Moment of truth ..... having said that, none of the ex-T20 WC champions have retained their crown ... BUT, that can't be an excuse for us, as we have wilfully dropped KP (or rather forced his retirement) to fly a 'happier' team to SL to 'retain T20 WC crown'. I for one will surely be distressed IF we lose close games AND instinctively wish KP should be out there to bring the crown home! A IF and an AND. Come on guys ... you got what YOU wanted, now back your stance and prove yourselves correct and cricket fans wrong ... else ... hope you won't need reminding what is the correct thing to do.

  • Narbavi on September 14, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Lol, so much for being defending champions, lumb, kieswetter and especially pietersen were the architects behind the win last time, and without KP, this team is done for, especially if the pitches take turn!!

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    I noticed one area, where England is very strong at the moment; the number of wicket keepers. Four of them at the same time! Prior, Kieswetter, Buttler, & Bairstow. And three of them have landed together in Colombo for the world cup. Probably all three also may be in the playing XI. Whoever keeps the wicket can take any amount of physical risk in the full knowledge that there are two standbys right on the field. How many teams have that strength? (Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are the favorites to win. In fact, there are far too many favorites this time. But England is not one of them)

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    The kid is not shy enough to hide his aspirations, to be a full-fledged captain. See this. ... "This is a great opportunity to have a month in charge and devote my skills as a captain and see what the guys are like in a longer format," he said.... Hopp is trying to bail him out though, saying that Broad perhaps meant something else. Hope Hopp is successful in his effort, but not quite!

  • teadrinker on September 14, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    After the washout at Manchester and the 11 over thrash at Birmingham, SB probably DID mean 'the longer format'

  • on September 14, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    broad get ready to be wallopped...esply as a bowler...LOL

  • Hira1 on September 14, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Broad might not bring the cup but will bring back a happier team without KP...Good luck Broad and English team

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 14, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    The captain's allowed to drop himself and stay on the bench isn't he? I remember Vettori did it in the last IPL because of lack of form. Broad's bowling in my opinion is off the boil of late, and unless he picks up some speed and variation etc. he is a weak link.