Stuart Broad admitted England are a different side now compared to the one six months ago © Getty Images
Dhaka: Mar 17, 2014
England‘s T20 captain Stuart Broad wasn’t very forthcoming on answering questions about the controversial sacking of batsman Kevin Pietersen as he evaded the query giving a completely roundabout reply.
When asked about how much the issue of Pietersen, whose international career came to a dramatic end following England’s dismal Ashes tour of Australia, and sudden retirement of Graeme Swann has affected the team, Broad said, “Lack of experience is not a problem. We don’t have too many experienced T20 players, but there are lot of them who play Tests and ODIs.”
“You have Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright, who have played in T20 leagues all over the world,” the skipper went on a different tangent even refusing to utter the word ‘KP’.
Broad did agree that this current T20 squad is “slightly different from what it was some six months ago”.
“We have guys who are keen to learn. There are some, who can stand up and deliver like Bopara, Morgan and Alex Hales, who recently was the No.1 T20 batsman in ICC rankings [currently No 2]. In Test matches, you do need 8-9 guys to perform but not in T20. In T20′s, you can win a match with even one or two players. In a Test match, you get a whole morning session to adapt but in a T20 game, you have to communicate in just one over,” he said.
Since they play India in a warm-up game, he was questioned about his thoughts on the current Indian side.
“Everytime, we come up against India, you think about the the amount of IPL [Indian Premier League] cricket these guys have played. They adapt very quickly to the conditions where there is no bounce. We have to see how their bowlers come hard at us during Powerplays.”
Broad was asked a specific question about how difficult it is to gell as a unit in T20 Internationals, which are rare compared to franchise-based leagues.
“Our build up in the Carribean has been good as we just didn’t play T20 cricket only but we stayed as a group of 15 or 16 players together. We worked on specific skills which we hope to execute during the tournament. So it’s been a good build up,” he said.
The England captain also stressed on team spirit and bonding which has been the key for this current side.
“The guys have been in great spirits and have been really excited about getting here. As an England side that plays three different formats, the side changes. But a lot of these guys have spent a lot of time together. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy around the guys for this World Cup and that’s what you need.”
Broad was coming into the tournament with a sore knee and would only play in the second warm-up against India on March 19.
“I had an injection on my knee last week. Generally, it takes eight to ten days. But we left Barbados on Friday and got here on Monday. I’m not playing tomorrow. It’s been a long travel. I’ll play against India on Wednesday. The soreness is gone. We had a 12-hour stop-over in Dubai and managed to get a gym session. If it was a Test match tour, it could have been a worry, but with just fours overs to bowl each game, I’m confident that I’ll play a full part in this World Cup,” he said.
England were the 2010 World T20 champions and when asked to compare the present side with the ‘class of 2010′, Broad said, “For that World Cup, we didn’t spend a lot of time together. We played county cricket at home before going to West Indies.”
Broad feels that no particular team can be termed as a formidable unit in this format.
“In a T20 World Cup, it’s all about the momentum for those two and a half to three weeks. If you look at it, no side has won it twice till now, which shows that there is no specialty in each side that has won it. It’s just that a side has got on a roll and they’ve had one or two players that have pushed them.
“In these conditions, you expect a sub-continental team to be in the final and probably win. But we know deep down that we’ve got match-winners and we only need one or two of those to grab this tournament by the scruff of the neck.”
The speedster feels that an extra man in the circle during ODIs has helped the batsmen emerge as better players in T20 cricket.
“The format has developed. Most batsmen hit it 360 degrees now. Scores have definitely gone up. From hitting a delivery over bowlers head to hitting over keeper’s head, the game has evolved. The fielding restrictions with an extra man in the circle in ODIs have made batsmen believe that they can do it in T20 as well.
“For us bowlers, we can try to come round the wicket, mix yorkers and bouncers. The key is not to get too predictable.
It’s a good thing to be bowling in T20 cricket because you create pressure on the batsman. Some of the catches you see nowadays are fantastic,” he said.
About the adjustment in length, he said, “The basic aim will be to target the base of the stumps and also to shut the game early. That is one area where we are working on.?
Broad was disappointed that injured Ben Stokes missed out on his maiden opportunity to play a World Cup format.