Broad wants more from seamers

Asks fast bowlers to take more responsibilities in absence of Swann

Fresh from the heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at home against Sri Lanka, England have regrouped for a long and important Test series against the visiting Indians. Not having won a single of their last seven Tests, Alastair Cook and his men are under a lot of pressure this summer.

Speaking to the press ahead of the first Test, at Trent Bridge, Stuart Broad said the fast bowlers will need to shoulder more responsibilities against India, while also protecting themselves from injury and fatigue.

“It’s pretty hectic time coming up for us and it’s in the bowlers’ hands to bowl India out as soon as possible and get that rest,” Broad said. “If India score 400-500, it’s very difficult for the seamers to keep coming back and bowling. But if we restrict them to 250 or so, the workload reduces.”

“This series has five Test matches in a span of three and back to back Tests do tire you out. But it’s great as well because we’ll be playing against a fantastic team and we’ll be very well supported throughout. So, we are excited to play a lot of cricket in the coming weeks but we also have to take care of our bodies.”

Trent Bridge has been a happy hunting ground for England, where they have won eight of the last 10 Tests. Broad said starting the series at one of their favorite venues will be an advantage for the hosts.

“It is an advantage because we have got a really good record here. Jimmy Anderson’s record here in particular is fantastic and Ian Bell has scored plenty of runs here. That does give us the confidence but we also have many new players who haven’t played a lot of cricket here,” said the England pacer.

“So, we have to teach them from our experience about certain lengths you have to be careful driving at and how slips could be in the game often. A lot of such communication is going on in the change room.

“Also, in the Indian squad only Dhoni, Gambhir and Ishant have played Test cricket in England before. That is an advantage we have over India but having watched them in New Zealand and South Africa, their batsmen adjusted pretty well in conditions there and I think this is going to be a brilliant series to watch.”

Broad was worried about the recent change in the nature of the English wickets that has made them play slow and low. He said the dryness in the pitches would benefit India with two spinners in their ranks.

“Due to the new drainage system the wickets have now begun to dry out earlier than before unless you keep them very green, which you don’t in Test cricket,” he said.

“It is an issue we’re facing at the moment where the ball bounces three-four times to the keeper. I think a Test wicket should be flat because people come to see the runs being scored, but when the ball edges the bat, it should carry to the keeper – that’s the number one rule. The Lord’s and Headingley were the only two wickets we’ve played this summer and they both turned out to be very slow and low. If will be interesting to see how this series plays out. If the wickets are dry, India will be licking their lips with two spinners.”

While India have a decent spin resource, England are without one after the retirement of Graeme Swann. Broad admitted that the off-spinner’s exit has forced a change in the style of cricket that England want to play.

“Without Swann, we have to play a different style of cricket where the seamers take more responsibility between the 40-75 overs. I don’t think we are a 100 per cent used to it yet but we will get there. Also, although Swanny took wickets against India the last time, a lot of damage was done by the seamers with the ball moving sideways,” he said.

Broad reflected on India’s last tour to England, where the visitors lost 0-4 and said the current squad looks more settled than the injury-marred unit of 2011.

“On paper the Indian squad of 2011 series was phenomenal but what went against them was there were quite a lot of changes in the team where a lot of players went in and out.

“This team is a lot more settled for the last year or so. I know they have struggled a bit abroad but that hasn’t been because of lack of runs. They have a nicely settled batting lineup. They haven’t been able to take 20 wickets which is why they might like to play five bowlers. They are a great side. Even in the last series, India had a chance in a couple of Tests but we just won the key moments. We’ll have to do that again this time, something that we haven’t done in the last six months.”


Report: Aus A vs Ind A – Day 2

Naman’s double ton, pacers put India A in command

Naman Ojha scored a magnificent double century to put India in a dominating position in the first four-day game against Australia A. The wicketkeeper-batsman was unbeaten on 219 when India A declared their first innings on 475 for nine. The India A attack led by Jasprit Bumrah (3/42) further strengthened the visitors position. The hosts were trailing by 349 runs with four wickets in hand at the end of second day’s play. Mitchell Marsh was batting with Sam Whiteman at the crease when stumps were called in Brisbane.

Earlier after India A resumed on 304 for six, Naman, who was batting on the overnight score of 82 soon reached the three-figure mark and continued to counter the Australian attack. Coming in at No 7 he rallied on to power his team to a comfortable position. Ohja and Dhawal Kulkarni added 49 runs today before the latter returned to the pavilion. Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce claimed the lower-order batsman and in his next sent back Umesh Yadav for naught to finish with a four-wicket haul.

Pragyan Ojha then faced 27 deliveries to score four runs before nicking Moises Henriques to the wicketkeeper. Jasprit Bumrah who replaced him at the crease then helped add 75 runs to the total in an unbroken partnership until India A declared the innings.

Jasprit Bumrah scalped opener Alex Doolan (12) and Peter Forrest (16), both caught by KL Rahul.

Dhawal Kulkarni sent back Phil Hughes (34) while Umesh Yadav bowled James Faulkner (1) to reduce the home side to 73 for four.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha had Moises Henriques (4) caught behind before Bumrah ended Chris Lynn's resistance by inducing an edge for wicketkeeper Naman Ojha.

With the top six back in the dressing room before the team could reach the three-figure mark, it was left to the lower-order to salvage the innings. Marsh and Whiteman played out the remaining overs of the day with an unbroken stand of 27 runs.

Brief scores:

Day 1: India A 304/6 in 89.1 overs (M Tiwary 83, N Ojha 82*, J Singh 56, M Marsh 2/46, B Cutting 2/65, Boyce 2/84)

Day 2: India A 475/7 decl. in 130 overs (N Ojha 219, C Boyce 4/146); Aus A 126/6 in 44.4 overs (P Hughes 34, J Bumrah 3/42, D Kulkarni 1/10)