London: Stuart Broad insists England are ready in terms of experience to take on Australia this winter and the Ashes will prove “our time as a team”.
“I like the pitches, I feel I know the fields for plan A and B, but this is our time as a team — we’ve been building for a while and we’ve got experience but also middle ones, guys who have played 35-45 Tests, and that is when you learn as a player how to get your team out of trouble or how to put your foot on the throat,” said Broad.
The opening Test will be at Brisbane, a venue at which Australia have not lost since 1988 and where England have managed only two draws since winning there in 1986 when Broad’s father, Chris, opened the batting.
England have given themselves a chance this time by arranging a warm-up match in Townsville, so will at least be used to the humidity of Queensland even if nothing can quite prepare for the experience of playing at the “Gabbatoir”. “I think as an England player you’d be disappointed if you didn’t get stick at the Gabba — that’s gone on for years,” said Broad.
“But I love all that, you’re in the battle straight away and it sort of helps me as a cricketer. I seem to thrive off the extra spice and there will be a bit of that.”
Broad, 31, was at Downing Street on Tuesday, with England women’s captain Heather Knight as part of a street cricket initiative with the charity Chance to Shine. “I’ve been fortunate to play my cricket in some prestigious places in my time but probably none more than 10 Downing Street,” he said.
Broad was going from Downing Street to hospital for a scan on his left heel, injured when he slipped down a step in the Lord’s pavilion last week. Statistically, this was Broad’s leanest summer since his first in an England team 10 years ago. He was unlucky with dropped catches off his bowling but he could not quite find his consistency as England relied instead on James Anderson.
“I’m hoping I’ve saved up my wickets for Australia,” he added.