Stuart Broad looks to future after 'going from diminishing cricketer to reinvented'
It was quite a summer for Stuart Broad, who had started it fearing he might be put out to seed but ended it a rejuvenated leader of the England attack.
Broad lost his position as an England regular during the winter, and was incensed when he was not picked for the first Test in Barbados in February, a sign that perhaps he was reaching the end of the road at the age of 33.
But missing the Tests in Sri Lanka last November and having to fight to regain his place in the Caribbean rejuvenated Broad who was England’s leading wicket taker in the Ashes with 23 at 26.65 and enjoyed total domination over David Warner, dismissing him seven times.
With James Anderson contributing just four overs to the Ashes series, Broad ended up playing more Tests than expected but it gave him the opportunity to prove he still has a couple of years left as long as he stays fit. Test series in New Zealand and South Africa will suit him over the next five months, although he may well be rested for the final series of the winter in Sri Lanka next March, and there is an outside chance he could chase down Anderson as England’s leading wicket-taker.
Anderson’s future is unknown until he proves he has recovered from a calf injury that is expected to rule him out of the New Zealand tour when the squad is announced next week. Anderson has 575 Test wickets, Broad 467.
“We talk about setting the tone with the new ball and I felt that this has been my best summer for a long time in terms of doing that with the new ball,” he said. “I felt a responsibility to lead that first 10 overs and I've had great energy running in. I felt like the mindset of trying to hit the stumps has really paid off.
“I've been very pleased with how it has gone this summer. I've gone from being talked about as a diminishing cricketer being eased out to a reinvented cricketer with more to offer. At 33 years old that is a good place to be. All the hard work has been worth it. Fate allowed me to have the time during the winter to work on things.
“In Sri Lanka I didn't play too much and I was able to work on a new run up and stuff like my attacking intent which has paid dividends. I've not been as attacking in my areas, and making batsmen play as much as I have for many years.
“I had an added responsibility to try and get their big players out and that's why I did a lot of planning on David Warner and how I might get him out before the series started. I had to go fuller at him, I had to try and hit his stumps and I had to try and forget about his outside edge. I never dreamt that I would have the success against him that I've had. He has outdone me in many a series, but this time it went my way and I think it perhaps shows that sometimes planning does work.”