The Investec Ashes 2013

This England team is tough - Broad

George Dobell

August 19, 2013

Comments: 65 | Text size: A | A

England celebrate as Shane Watson is confirmed as out, England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, 4th day, Chester-le-Street, August 12, 2013
Stuart Broad: "It would have been different if we had this group of players in the 1990s. If they had two bad Tests they would be gone" © Getty Images
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Administrators rarely receive credit for success. While they may be the first to blame after defeat, it tends to be the players who gain the plaudits after success. Administrators are usually the first to blame and the last to be praised.

So it was notable that Stuart Broad, one of the heroes of England's series-clinching victory in Durham, should credit England's selectors for their part in the side's recent successes.

Broad, who rated his performance at Durham as "probably the best I have bowled in a Test", credited England's continuity of selection policy as vital to developing the spirit that has enabled the side to cope with the inevitable setbacks they will encounter and engendering a resilience and toughness he described as "unpleasant" to play against and "un-English."

While there was a time when England discarded players like other teams discarded socks - 29 men represented England in the 1989 Ashes - Broad felt that the shared experiences of recent times - the failures as well as the wins - had created a level of support and confidence in one another that helped cope with any challenges that arise.

"When you have played a lot of cricket together and you are 30 for 3, which we have been a few times in this series, there is no panic in the changing room," Broad said. "We know someone is going to step up.

"That comes from awful experiences like in Jamaica when we got bowled out for 50. Those journeys along the way help grow a belief because you have the experience of when you are in trouble of getting out of it.

"We had a great moment after the Durham game. We sat around having a beer in the changing room in a circle chatting about everything that had happened in the series. On Sky they were showing highlights of the 2009 series and a lot of the guys involved had played 16 Tests or so. The same group is still here and now we have played 60 or 70 Tests.

"We have some good experience in the changing room. Anyone who has an idea will stand up and speak their mind, which is a strong place to be.

"The changing room expects a lot all the time. If we have had a bad two hours we are honest, and say let's sharpen our game.

"When guys have played more cricket together, you can take honest feedback a lot better. When you have played two or three Tests and someone says 'that is not what is expected of you,' you go into your shell a bit. Now you can say, 'sorry, I am better than that,' and bowl better. We are honest. There are times when there might be disagreements, but it is international sport and sometimes that is what you need.

"I certainly think we are an unpleasant team to play against at the minute. Teams will not come and play against us and enjoy the experience, which is what we want"

"We are lucky we play in a time when selectors back players. It would have been different if we had this group of players in the 1990s. If they had two bad Tests they would be gone.

"But now, because the selectors have backed a group of players, we have a collective experience and belief in each other."

It is that belief in one another that has, in part, created the resilience which has helped England go unbeaten for 12 successive Tests despite times - notably in Nagpur and Auckland - when they have had to fight hard for the draw.

And while some sections of the media have found some aspects of England's play - such as Broad's decision not to 'walk' at Trent Bridge or the side's delaying tactics there and at Old Trafford - unpalatable, Broad feels they are a characteristic of which to be proud. He feels they are symptomatic of a ruthlessness that has played a huge part in England's improved form and believes that the supporters appreciate that quality.

"One thing about this England team is we are tough," Broad said. "We come through tricky times and we stand up and want to be counted. It is quite an un-English thing what this team has got. We want that to continue.

"There is no doubt the country is proud of this team and what we have achieved because fans like winning teams. We are proud of that. We do have a win-at-all-costs mentality. We want to win, we want to make the fans happy.

"Of course we always have a responsibility to the fans and youngsters growing up because you are role models. But you have to play hard and play fair. That is the spirit of the game and how it is defined. The whole 'walking' debacle I thought was pretty poor journalism because it was just one player who was picked up. I have named seven or eight Australians and four Englishmen where that has not happened in this series."

Certainly, the furore over Broad not walking at Trent Bridge was hard to fathom. While players on both sides have admitted not walking when they knew they had edged the ball this series - Brad Haddin admitted as much in the same game - some aspects of the media seemed to latch on to the Broad incident in a disproportionately strong way. One British tabloid even compared him to cycling's drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.

"We have been accused of all sorts," Broad said. "Those sorts of things are not remembered. It is winning the series that will be remembered. All this [silicon] tape trollop that got talked about was irrelevant to us as a team. It does not affect whether we put the ball in the right place.

"That stuff I hear is just embarrassing. The English public love winning especially against Australia. They know they are going to watch us fighting and trying to win this game because it is a huge game in the series. 4-0 is on our minds. We need to keep the cricket we have been playing going."

That cricket remains hard, uncompromising and, in Broad's words, "unpleasant." But it is fuelled by the experience of losing and wanting to avoid that pain in the future. And Broad hopes that the manner of Australia's defeat in Durham - losing nine wickets in the final session of day four having earned a potentially match-winning position - may prove particularly damaging.

"Any time you lose as a side it is damaging," he said. "Australia will have felt they could have won that game. Looking at our point of view that gives us huge encouragement knowing we can win from positions when everyone thought we were in trouble. For us to turn it around in the way we did shows the character we have.

"They are the moments that, the further we go in our careers, we can draw on. There might be moments in Australia when we are really behind the game, but we can remember coming back to win. We certainly talk about that sort of thing when we are out there and remember the sort of fight we need to show.

"I certainly think we are an unpleasant team to play against at the minute. Teams will not come and play against us and enjoy the experience, which is what we want.

"That Champions Trophy final was one of worst experiences I have had. Watching the Indians win a game we should have won. It is a feeling that sends you into a complete low as a player.

"There is a huge hunger within this side to keep putting in strong performances. There is no bigger carrot this week than being first side to beat Australia 4-0. We met up as a team last night to discuss that. There could be a danger that we could just go and enjoy the week but no, we have got Twenty20 games, ODIs and another Test series against these boys.

"We need to keep throwing punches and damaging these players. There is a lot of cricket against these guys and if we give them momentum they are a dangerous enough side to hurt us."

Stuart Broad is an Investec Test Cricket Ambassador. The specialist bank and asset manager is title sponsor of the or @investeccricket

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shan156 on (August 21, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, re: @King Jayesh's comment, if England are so poor, think how poor India must be since they lost to us both home and away. And, to those who think Eng. are not tough because SA beat us, winning and losing is part and parcel of sport. Aus., at their pomp, lost a series to India and drew at home to India and NZ. SA have drawn their last home series against Eng, Ind, and Aus. This Eng. team is hard to beat. Broad doesn't say it is impossible. If people don't want to accept it, that's fine. But, it doesn't change facts. While we lost the Oval test easily against SA last year, we showed some fight in the next 2 tests. If I remember right, we took first innings leads in both. If we had caught better, we could have won at Lord's.

Posted by Blewey on (August 21, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

I'd argue that England's attitude is a not-lose-at-all-costs one rather than win-at-all-costs, given their backs to the wall batting and I guess even delaying tactics. But some fine words from broad.

Posted by Vleis on (August 21, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

Broad says, "I certainly think we are an unpleasant team to play against at the minute." I beg to differ. This time last year, England allowed SA to score 637 for 2, including Amla's 311*, in the first test. Then...they dropped one of the few players that showed some spine for the final test to help SA coast to a 2 nil victory. Jolly nice of you chaps! Tally ho!

Posted by CustomKid on (August 21, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

When the Aussies conducted themselves in such a manner in the now infamous Sydney test against India, where they won with an over to spare, the Australian Media crucified the national team for being unsporting cheats. To me that was the day Australian Cricket died and the national team has never been the same since. We weren't the best in the world for 10+ years nor the Windies in the 70-80's because they were nice guys. They were hard nose fighters, playing dirty if need be to win at all costs.

While I despise broad and most of the English team (only because they're thrashing us lol) at least their public and media aren't lambasting them for playing good hard tough cricket.

Until Australia show that hardness they're going to languish. THey need someone like Allan Boarder who can be real nasty and back up the talk with performance. I don't know who can do that? Maybe warner as he likes to throw a few punches from time to time? Boof needs to instill nastiness not niceness.

Posted by SJCYorkshire on (August 21, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

Stuart I can assure you the England fans do appreciate what the team is doing. The sniping from the likes of Warne and Agnew is just that and is a bit pathetic really. We appreciate that England are a very good side with an excellent captain who is as good a role model we have had in a team sport for years. Continue to ignore the white noise of criticism it's nothing more than a pointless distraction and keep racking up the wins. At times it has been close in this series but 3-0 is a more than fair reflection of the relative merits of each side, and arguably is in part to a significant underperformance of several key England players. England have nothing to fear against this Australian side home or away - we only come unstuck against world class resolute batting (SA) and mystery spin (Pakistan) neither of which Australia has. Keep up the good work starting today!

Posted by jonesy2 on (August 21, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

this England team are poor and will be duly smashed by the next team they play. its just Australia are in such a state that an under 12s side would beat them, they are beating themselves mainly because they don't care about winning and aren't in the business of winning.

Posted by Arthaurian on (August 21, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

If only South Africa had such an aggressive mentality in a world cup. But they are too soft

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 21, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

@King Jayesh on (August 20, 2013, 17:12 GMT), that makes perfect sense: England are bad because if England were worse or Australia were better then Australia would be the better team. I feel a bit unlucky myself because I could be a Test cricketer too if only I was really good at cricket.

Posted by AbbaJura on (August 21, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

How cud they be the 1st to beat the Oz 4-0, India dd it nt so long ago and SA did it in Aus in 1969? Hope Australia wins this game. And to those sayin SA only scrapped to win 1-0 to this same team. Remeember, that Aus had Hussey and Ponting and winning is winning. Eng failed to to that in NZ....

Posted by Thegimp on (August 21, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

@jmcilhinney....OK Maybe This current Aust team saying that they are tough after beating Sri Lanka at home.....although I would like to compare Bangladesh's top six test averages against Australia's over the last say 10 tests and discounting Clarke, I would bet that there is not much of a difference.

@YorkshirePudding that's exactly what I am saying mate. With a little luck in the first test, a little less rain in the third and one determined partnership in the forth and they could be right in it. Not discounting what Eng have done, they are a solid side but a lot of people think Broad is being being a little Self congratulary in this article. Different if someone else said it about the team but his saying it represents his immaturity and leaves himself open for fire but that's just Broad isn't it. Oh and regarding the negative cricket comment and not being fined. You can play negative cricket within the rules mate, underarm bowling was within the rules when Greggy boy ordered it.

Posted by Shash28 on (August 21, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Stuart Broad's the Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the cricket world... talented yet unpleasant. I doubt many people would pay $50 to watch him get flogged; it's modus operandi 70% of the time.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

While I'd personally not endorse his brand of cricket, from a completely neutral perspective, it's hard to argue with Broad. He obviously has had the advantages - not getting pulled up for on-field petulance as much as any other cricketer without a 'match referee' dad would have been. But his skills are unquestionable, and while we keep marveling (rightly so) about Flintoff's impact as an allrounder, Broad's record is very impressive in comparison, especially given his age. Most of all, given that South Africa, England, India and Pakistan are pretty much the only four teams as of now which look truly 'test class' - it is indeed the ruthlessness, the 'unpleasantness' if you will - which ensures England are probably the second best (ICC rankings notwithstanding). Even as an Indian, I have to agree - with a clutch of players in 27-32 years age group and at their peak in terms of skills, this English team is certainly the best in last 25 years or so.

Posted by Shan156 on (August 20, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

@Simon Cross, Emburey was a world class spinner? Did we lower the standards for world class? Swann is the first world class spinner England had since Underwood. The ones that we picked as spinners in between all ranged from average to below average - Panesar, Emburey, Edmonds, Such, Tufnell, and a few others.

I don't rate Bairstow highly and I think you are right in saying that he is only as good as Crawley. Gooch, Stewart, and Thorpe would compare well with Cook, Trott, and Bell considering the opposition they played often but KP is rather special. You got to go really back in time to find an England batsman as gifted as him. Prior is also better than Rhodes. Except Gough, the other seamers - DeFrietas, Malcolm, Benjamin, were not as good as the ones playing right now.

Posted by Shan156 on (August 20, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Sponge, a little too rich for an Aussie fan to lecture about spirit of the game, win at all costs, and sore winner? Call it a thrashing or whatever you want to, but England lead the series 3-0 and are playing a dead rubber test at the Oval. I seriously hope that we rest Anderson and Swann and still pull off another win. We know the return series down under will be tougher but do remember that Cook, Trott, and Prior are not going to fail all the time and they had memorable series last time.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

@Simon Cross, I would take Finn in a heartbeat, just a pity for him that they have messed up his whole run up so much, for all their worth central contracts and all these specialist coaches still mess things up, goodness knows what may have happened with big Dev! Bairstow is looking pretty ordinary right now, but that team you listed has at least four guys who were never test class, to be honest I don't even recall Benjamin?

As it was, Dev with 120 wickets @ 37.00 and Hick with 3300 @ 31 may have actually played too much! They always looked like they could and should have done better, they just never did, i'm not sure central contracts can fix that.

On the Aussie side i'd say blokes like Michael Bevan, Phil Hughes, Mitch Johnson and Watto could be put in the same category, for some players it just does not happen.

Posted by Rahulbose on (August 20, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

This is easily the best Eng team at least of the last 2 decades. I have only watched live cricket since 1990 so won't comment of team before that, but looking at results its hard to find a better English team in modern times.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

This english team is one of the worst test sides i have ever seen. few bad umpiring blunders have made the series go the way of england. there are plenty of ifs and but . but if the umpiring standard had been decent the series may be 2-2 eachor may be in favor of australians. and this australian side is at the moment comparable to australian -A sides of past eras. even today with a rebuilding sides the english have been badly hurt. if not for a innings by prior or KP the english are badly. same thing if aussies had one more batsman or a good bowler the english would have been having another disastrous summer with ashes.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

@Jono Makim: "I don't think any of the bowlers other than Goughie would be expected to play a lot of games in the current England team."

Maybe but there was also Angus Fraser - over 150 wickets @27 apiece. Quality bowler. He had the same bowling average against Australia as Gough. Also, Dean Headley was very good but his career didn't last long enough. Considering the excellent batting Australia had at the time, these bowlers gave a good account of themselves. Andy Caddick struggled though - averaged 40 against Australia.

@xtrafalgarx: You've cherry-picked history. What, then, did you think of Australian fans abusing and throwing rubbish at an injured Simon Jones (who isn't even English)? That wasn't very "nice" or "friendly".

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

england is tough to beat " at home , except when south africa comes for a visit"

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

@Jono Makim Is Bairstow any better than average? How much better is he than Crawley? Wouldn't you sooner have a Devon Malcolm that had had three years of central contract and coaching than Finn? That Oval attack was pretty weak by England's standards at the time. No Fraser, no Caddick. The big difference is Swann. England had no world class spinner from Emburey retiring until Swann's debut.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (August 20, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

Mmmm, this has been a tighter series than the scoreline suggests but granted 3-0 is 3-0 on any occasion. To suggest that it is a thrashing is a little bit blind sided. But, lets see how we go at the Oval. I do think the win at all costs might explain why they do a few things that don't really fall into the spirit of the game. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner so be gracious England fans, at least while you can as the return series will be a different kettle of fish. Hope the Oval game is a cracker and we see good cricket, not a thrashing either way.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

@Simon Cross, Englands batting at that time wasn't too bad, certaily Gooch, Athers and Thorpe were good batsmen, but Hick never fulfilled his promise and the likes of Crawley, Rhodes and DeFreitas were just average cricketers, albeit fighters, you have to be better than that to win a place these days. I don't think any of the bowlers other than Goughie would be expected to play a lot of games in the current England team. To be honest I think the current coaching is not super. The bowlers look bereft of ideas at times and Flower seems to have the team stuck in one gear for the most part, only the natural flamboyance of KP or Prior ever really changes that, other than that it is all very much the same, test in test out.

Posted by Front-foot-gunge on (August 20, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Wonder how tough they felt last summer when they got thrashed comprehensively by South Africa. This England side is not even no.1 in the world. Get some perspective.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

@Landl47, maybe England can turnover players without losing their edge, easier said than done though. Aus had Katich, Jaques and Rogers to replace Hayden and Langer, somehow we ended up with guys like Watto and Cowan, so it doesn't always go right. I think England would be much better off having Ballance in the team right now rather than Bairstow, he just seems to grow an extra leg when he plays for the Lions and I think he would take to test cricket instantly, he'd be more than capable of stepping up to 4 when KP goes, Bairstow I don't think can do that. Plenty of stuff going wrong with Finn too, if England want to get even better they need to get him right. England will also have to settle on a spinner, Monty has seemingly gone off the rails so you'll have to start again now with Kerrigan, getting the games into him will be tough before Swann goes. Frankly I think this is very tough to do, Aus had 2 all time great bowlers to anchor from, England will have Cook.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

I'm not sure I agree that things would have been better if they'd had that group of players in the 90s. Test cricket in general is at pretty low ebb currently: with the exception of SA, there aren't any really good sides, England included (I speak as an Englishman). How much better, man-for-man, was the side playing at Durham than (say) Gooch, Atherton, Hick, Thorpe, Stewart, Crawley, Rhodes, DeFreitas, Gough, Benjamin, Malcolm (Oval vs SA in 1994)? The big advantage the current side has is the excellent set-up and coaching. In the 90s the England set-up was a shambles.

Posted by Mindmeld on (August 20, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

It's easy to be tough when everything goes your way, almost miraculously. Lets see how tough Broad feels when the weather blows the other way, pun fully intended. To be honest I'm not overly impressed by England. I think they have had a LOT of good fortune, and that has been the case both when they have played well, and when they have been ordinary. There will come a time when those close calls go the other way consistently, and history shows us that this will not be too far away. People are saying Australia are crap, but only 4 months ago they were on a great run, having lost only three of twenty tests, winning 11, and many of hose overseas. People forget quickly, just as people will forget this series as soon as things turn against England.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 20, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

@ashangamage on (August 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT), and Indian conditions, which suggests that they may well also do better away against Pakistan and SL if they were to play again now. I seem to recall their doing fairly well in Australia last time they were there.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 20, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

@Thegimp on (August 20, 2013, 9:59 GMT), that's a rather ridiculous comparison and just shows how OTT your opinions are and why they should not be taken seriously. The Australia teams that Hayden played in were significantly better than this England team and Bangladesh are significantly worse, then and now, than this current Australia team. A closer comparison would be Hayden saying the same thing about the best teams they played at the time, because that's more like the difference between these two teams now, and I'm quite sure that Australian players did say such things. The whole Broad is trying to make is that, while England aren't great, they are tough to beat.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 20, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

@Thegimp, Australia are far from rubbish (probably akin to england in the late 80's/very early 90's) they have a good bowling unit which has often put pressure on Englands top order, and batting wise there are a couple of players that have a lot of potential but they just arnt settled.

As for being right in the series, except for a 'flukey' 98 runs by Agar England had control of the first test at TB, and england margine would have been comprehensive. They were outplayed in the second at lords.

At OT they played well thanks mainly to a very good innings from Clarke, and cameos from Rodgers and Khawaja, but they didnt take into account the rain forcast for the afternoon session on the 4th day and the 5th day.

At Druham they were crusing but imploed like England of the 90's when well set to chase down a reasonable total, mainly because Broad stood up to be counted with his once in a series bowling performance.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

@ YorkshirePudding nobody is saying that SA is great, but they have been the best test team for last few years. they have beaten aus,eng,nz away, drew ind, sl away. Neither Eng nor Ind were able to do that when they were no. 1. only WI and Aus had the sides which did well consistently for around 10 years, so they were great.

Posted by Thegimp on (August 20, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Yorkshire, most people are saying that England are a good side, it's when they start posturing about being tough and ruthless after beating this Aust side it gets on ones nerves. It would be like Matthew Hayden saying the same thing about beating Banglidesh back in the 90s. Australia are rubbish at the moment and yet with a bit of luck and a little less rain, could well have been right in this series. Broad should wait until they have been up top for 10 years before he starts talking trash talk

Posted by Hatter_Mad on (August 20, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

Ok, Broad is not popular - as the one-sdied comments here prove! - but he's touched on several truths here.

First up, England have become "Ponting-esque" in their approach - i.e. don't walk, contest the match right up to the borderline of what is acceptable, don't ease off when the other guy is down.

The point about not dropping players is anither thing he's got right. In fact, Ian Bell wouldn't be playing England now if the selectors had followed the 1990's "revolving doors" policy.

And the toughness in the batting is apparent - if the top order have blown it then there's always been somebody (even the likes of Bresnan) ready to step up and dig in.

Broad isn't claiming to be the No.1 team but he's right when he says that they are hard to beat right now.

Posted by Charlie101 on (August 20, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@ Cpt. Meanster You are quite correct that a number of our good players will retire in 3 /4 years but I think you will find that our selectors are fully aware of this and will already be bringing on replacements such as Taylor , Ballance and Kerrigan . Plse have a look at our squad for tomorrow and Kerrigan is there savouring a call up - I do not think he will play but he is part of the plans and will play when Swan is rested in the future so by the time Swan retires he will be ready if good enough .As Stuart Broad says "the selectors should take credit for the teams recent success "

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 20, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

@SaffaSeano, I corrected someone who stated england lost 3-0 against SA, I have never said england is a great side, they are however one of the better and most consistent England sides I've ever seen, in 30 years of watching the game.

As for SA being the best in the world that remains to be seen, If memory serves right they only just scraped a 1-0 Series victory agains this "very poor" australian side if you believe some posters, and could have lost that series 2-1 as Austrlia had them on the wire in 2 games.

SA are only classed as the best because of a statstical formula, just as england were in 2011, and india before that, the only great teams I've seen are Aus of the 90's and the WI's of the 80's.

THat said SA have the potential to be great, but they are a long way from it.

Posted by whatawicket on (August 20, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

its a professional game which should be ashard as you can within the rules. i have been watching cricket for nearly 50 years and cannot bring to mind a time were england have broken rules were we were or could as a team to bring the game into disrepute. the mike gatting affair is from memory the nearest 1 on 1 situation, but there was great provocation, anyone who does not know or remember this, should be happy that these days of neutral umpires this would not happen. England play hard cricket fair and within the rules. broad will be unlucky, as most remember things hes done were similar incidents by others is easier forgiven. ask any aussie cricketer about walking in any grade of cricket the majority i guess would be with broad.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx, you are spot on. I noticed this as well.

Posted by ashangamage on (August 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

"This England team is tough - Broad" Only in England Conditions hehe

Posted by cric_J on (August 20, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

@SaffaSeano : Where did @YorkshirePudding put up excuses for England losing 2-0 to SA or deny that they were the deserving no.1 team ? And what is wrong with correcting someone by saying that England lost 2-0 and not 3-0. @Greatest Game keeps doing that more often than anyone else ! and there is no harm in it whatsoever.

Posted by cric_J on (August 20, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

@R_U_FOR_REAL_NICK_ (Aug 20, 2013, 8:08 GMT) : Couldn't agree more with you.Very true.

@Tomtree : I watched that test too. Every single ball of it. And although that trouble was pretty lesser compared to Auckland, England were seriously behind eight ball at Nagpur on day 4 at 80-odd for 3 down with Bell looking highly fidgety and tentative. It took all of Trott and Bell's grit and patience and some luck to get through day 4 and the first session of day 5 unscathed. Just because it was an easy draw in the end, doesn't mean it was so all the throughout.

@raj_prime : Okay, okay just because we beat Australia 4-0 doesn't mean we grab every opportunity to showcase that fact. And Broad meant that they could be the first English team to beat Australia 4-0. Surely, you didn't actually think that Broad being an international cricketer wouldn't know when Australia were being beaten 4-0. Especially when the series following that thrashing is the Ashes where he himself will be bowling.


Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

Here comes all the hate for England just because they are confident. What, are they supposed to go around saying 'we beat a lacklustre Australian side and are therefore not that great a team' ? Brilliant teams are confident. This side is not arrogant. And to those who say England only win in home conditions, have you seen the thrashing they gave India at home? Not to mention that England destroyed Australia the last time they played them at home, and Aussie had a good team back then.

Posted by irfans1 on (August 20, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Mr Broad. wait till we see how England perform in Aus for this winter Ashes to say "England team is tough". As in the past, outside home conditions, England generally struggles.. especially past record in Aus and recent whitewash against Pak in UAE.

Posted by SaffaSeano on (August 20, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Here we go again, England beat the worst Australian team in History and now all of a sudden they are the worlds greatest. When will they ever learn? Get over yourselves!

@Yorkshire Pudding so you only lost 2-0 with the test at lords going to the wire? You still lost by 50 odd runs in that test. SA beat you at home, no excuses 2-0! England is a good side not great. SA is the best in the world at test. Simple as.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 20, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx (post on August 20, 2013, 4:21 GMT): Sorry you feel like that. "They [England] didn't check on Ricky Ponting when he got hit on the grill in 2005..." True, but I don't recall Aus. being overly concerned when poor Simon Jones was stretchered off the field. "...they complained when Dhoni ran out bell in England, yet they didn't call Khawaja back themselves in a similar circumstance..." True, but just about every team has done that at some point now. "...they play dirty and time-waste and never show any sportsmanship of any kind." Really? Every time Aus. are fielding and get the chance to review, Clarke looks straight up to the dressing room to Boof et al. - this needs to be looked at by the ICC! Why should a team be allowed to get an unfair advantage with decision making?

I don't believe people think Aus. are the worst. Being humans after all, one team is as bad as the other really. Everything balances out in the end.

Posted by raj_prime on (August 20, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

"There is no bigger carrot this week than being first side to beat Australia 4-0 ????" wake up!!! that happened just 5 months before....

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 20, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

So far in this test series, I have read that England are dependent on Anderson, Swann, Bell, KP, Broad and Bresnan. In previous series, it has been Cook, Trott, Prior and Root! I mean look at Cpt.Meanster's comment for example...

I don't know about the rest of you, but if a team can depend on just about every player in their team at some point or other, and consistently as well, then that's a bloody good team. Pretty much the only player who perhaps hasn't shone as brightly as the others (yet) is Bairstow; but he has been involved in crucial partnerships in some of the Ashes games.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 20, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

@Thegimp, er nowe didnt lose 3-0 to SA we lost 2-0, with the test at lords going to the wire, as for the comments of some people here, they do may me laugh, in 2011 when we hammered India, we were told, "wait till you get to India", we did and now that series is conviently forgotten by some sections.

AS for the claims of negative cricket, if England's overrate was so slow in the OT test why werent they warned and fined Over it?

In regards to Broad's comments I sense some journalistic tinkering with the statement. but How many teams would have rolled over when the team chasing 299 to win were 168-2, and rolling along towards a victory.

The sad part is that some people cannot give England any credit, which simply makes them small minded.

Posted by Tomtree on (August 20, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

Excuse me, Mr Dobell. I was wondering in what way England had to fight hard to draw the Nagpur Test? I was there, I think with that wicket, it is more likely that they struggled to stay awake. Have a look at to see for yourself!

Posted by Hammond on (August 20, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

@Srini_Chennai- funny that you ignored a certain test victory against India. Funny that.

Posted by brittop on (August 20, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

@Thegimp on (August 20, 2013, 6:17 GMT): "It's amazing that selective memory thing"

Posted by brittop on (August 20, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

@Satwant Hundal: You're reading what you want to believe he's saying, not what he actually is. Where does he say England are "the best team in the world"? You say "Eng are good" and he's giving some reasons why he thinks that is.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (August 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Tough, resilient, devastating in attack and stoic in defense, this England team eats teams like India and Australia for breakfast every time it meets them and can definitely be described as an awesome team. Which is the better series though: When they thrashed India in India or Australia at home? I'd say, in typical Ashes patriotism, that is the latter. This series has seen Australia dominated over almost the entire series, and over 5 tests too that's quite a thrashing.

Posted by Thegimp on (August 20, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@landl47 Steve Waugh played to win yes, but he never wasted time with a day to go in the test to play for a draw. It was always a push to win because the greatest triumph is winning when no-one expected it. If you got beaten then so be it but his greatest hatred came from being beaten when not trying for a win. Steve Waugh eliminated negative cricket and transformed Test cricket from 2.5 runs per over to 4 runs per over and pushed to win from the first ball on day one to the last ball on day 5. The fear of losing was tempered by the thrill of pulling one out of the bag. My memory serves that Steve Waugh's teams would never hope for rain on day five needing 270 to win!!!! I bet there would have been no celebrating in his dressing room had they retained the Ashes whilst praying for rain!!!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 20, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

@Saradindu Sengupta on (August 20, 2013, 4:37 GMT), you have clearly misunderstood the point Broad was trying to make about the 1990s. He's not trying to say that England would have done better back then if the current crop of players were around. He may believe that anyway but that's not his point. What he's saying is that, under the current management, the current players have been persisted with through some failures and that has allowed them to fulfil their potential whereas the same players in the 90s would have been discarded after a couple of failures and would never have had the chance to develop into the players they are now. I guess Nick Compton might have a different outlook but, for the most part, Broad is quite right.

Posted by landl47 on (August 20, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

@tamperbay: I don't know how old you are, but you don't have to have grey hair to remember Steve Waugh. Everything that Broad said and more could have come out of Steve Waugh's mouth. Modern professional sports recognizes winning and losing and not much else. All I ask is that they play within the rules and one of the rules is that you're out when the umpire says you're out. Players don't make that decision- check the Laws of Cricket.

@Cpt.Meanster: I'd be prepared to make a little wager that in 5 years time the new crop of England players will be better than this side. England is putting a lot of effort into bringing young players into the national set-up so that they can see what's required. Not all of them will come through, but enough will to make England a very good side in a few years. There's a lot of young talent in England at the moment; only India has comparable stocks of players with test potential. It should be a great battle in years to come.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

and the self boasting starts again, every time they win couple of tests they start praising themselves like they are the best team in the world which obviously they are not. SA beat them fair and square not a long ago and they have not done well away from home in last couple of years except the one of India series. Eng are good but still have a long way to go, still self boasting is such a disgusting thing and its funny that players are doing it themselves not even fans!

Posted by Thegimp on (August 20, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

It's amazing that selective memory thing, didn't you just lose to South Africa 3 zip and failed to win a test in NZ? Yes a few wins against possibly the worst Australian batting side in history and India and all of a sudden you are tough? Bell was tough and that's about it. Anderson even by his own admission has been disappointing, Cook, Root, Pieterson, Prior, Bairstow & Trott have been well below par and I would think that given dry dusty turning tracks, Swann would have hoped for a better return and as for yourself Mr Broad, as they say, one spell does not a summer make.

All good sides have someone who stands up each match, generally the great sides have someone different. In this current series, apart from a couple of cameos, it's been Bell, Bell, Bell.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Mr Broad is surely good but he sure talking 'overboard' stuff by saying 'if they were there in '90's things would have been different' . Mr Broad should know how good they are against Quality spin & seam- the Dubai trip against Pakistan is just a gentle reminder & what to talk of combating Shane Warne & Tiger Macdermott & Hughes then . The present Aussie side is akin to the side of Graham Yallop's & Kim Hughes's Aussies during the Kerry packer era , which was slaughtered by Mike Brearley's strong English side which had bowlers like the great Ian Botham , Bob Willis & co . The bowling of the present Aussie side is good just like Rodney Hogg, Wayne Clarke did for the Graham Yallop's & Kim Hughes's men . The batting leave aside Michael Clarke just like Kim Hughes then is just terrible & so no wonder they are getting bashed even after bowling out the English for low scores . We shall see how god the English are in the Aussie summer in retaining the Ashes !!!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (August 20, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

I hate it when people say that this English side is tougher and more "Un-English" than their teams of the past. Since when have England ever been nice!? They didn't check on Ricky Ponting when he got hit on the grill in 2005, they complained when Dhoni ran out bell in England, yet they didn't call Khawaja back themselves in a similar circumstance they play dirty and time-waste and never show any sportsmanship of any kind. People naturally think Aussies are the worst of the lot, but remember, everything bad the Aussies have ever done, the English did it first!!

Maybe i was born too late, but i have never seen a friendly English anything!!

Posted by skilebow on (August 20, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

@ icfa - I'm not going to go on about the modern global world and all that. I'm just going to point out that 3 is not half of 11. Even the nine year olds i teach know that...

Posted by skilebow on (August 20, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

@ Cpt.Meanster - I don't think so. There are some fantastic youngesters around in English cricket. I think England will actually be a better and stronger team in 5 years time once these younger players develop. I see this as our Allan Border Australian team whereas the next one will be our Steven Waugh team

Posted by kar_rocks on (August 20, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

Half the team is not even english...what are you talking about

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 20, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

It is very simple, England are tough because, most of their major players are very good; which is why they keep winning test matches. Take away Anderson, KP, Bell, Swann, Trott, and Broad, this England team is not as good. In a few years, these good players are bound to retire. When that happens, England will fall into the same trap as Australia; a scenario of too many good players retiring at the same time or within the same tenure. Then, I don't think they will be that tough. Some of the young players coming through don't have the same grit and determination of the above mentioned players. It is bound to happen and will happen. I just hope the English fans are prepared for it. For this is the golden period for English test cricket. It is their peak. SA are already facing that difficulty. So enjoy the sunshine when it lasts England.

Posted by alesso on (August 20, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

With ambassadors like Stuart Broad, how much business does Investec expect to do in Australia?

Posted by tamperbay on (August 20, 2013, 0:44 GMT)

You heard it from the horse's mouth here - "winning at ALL costs". With this attitude, we can't expect these players to tell the truth or believe anything they say, or even to play within the spirit of the game. People will call me old fashioned, but I'd rather support a team that is fun to watch, has some characters, and plays hard but fair - even if they don't always win. I support Australia but I felt ashamed when they carried on after winning that Sydney test against India and I feel ashamed when the players don't walk when they know they nicked it. With this "win at all costs" attitude of this current English team and their uber conservative - "first try not to lose, and then see if we can win" style of play, I find it so much easier to support Australia in the Ashes and I live in hope we can win against the poms - even if just one game - the taste would be sweet!

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