Broad relishing his self-improvement

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It’s not a tag you would want to hand any young cricketer, but Stuart Broad’s success in the early days of his international career is already getting him dubbed as Andrew Flintoff’s successor. Although he has some way to go to match the all-round performances of Flintoff, it is Broad’s efforts with the ball that are raising expectations.

He has claimed six wickets in the first three ODIs against New Zealand; he was the one shining light in the opening six-wicket defeat in Wellington and played a key role in the comeback win in Auckland with 3 for 32. His first spell in that match was an outstanding 7-1-12-2 and helped set the tone for England’s victory.

After 24 matches Broad has 36 wickets despite taking just five in his first six matches. Of bowlers who have at least 30 ODI scalps, Broad’s strike-rate of 33.8 puts him second behind Flintoff by just one decimal point. However, the most important thing for Broad is that he is continuing to learn and develop his bowling.

“At first, I barely picked up a wicket and I wondered where one was coming from,” he told The Press Association. “I think the more you play, the more you learn how to take wickets in different scenarios. I feel I’m learning when to bowl balls and when to bowl a bouncer a bit better, but it does depend on which role you’re doing.

“Coming on first change, when Jimmy [James Anderson] and Ryan [Sidebottom] have bowled well up front, it’s a lot easier to come on when the pressure is on the batsman and get some wickets so that has helped me out massively.”

Broad didn’t escape the hammering that England’s attack received during the second ODI in Hamilton when Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum slammed 165 in little more than 18 overs. His three overs went for 32, but it isn’t the first time Broad has had to come back from some severe punishment. During the ICC World Twenty20 he was clubbed for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh and quickly pushed it to the back of his mind.

“International cricket is a fantastic place to play because you know that if you’re not at the top of your game, you get punished and it makes you keep your standards high,” he said “You learn from your mistakes and you learn quickest if you bounce back. County cricket is still a very good standard but you can still get away with a few things.

“International cricket really makes you nail your variations. I’ve come in and worked on different cutters and slower balls and not running up and bowling at the same pace with the stock ball - little things like that really help and hopefully when I go back to county cricket, I will implement them there as well.”

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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