Fletcher's presence will have little significance: Broad

Stuart Broad said he was still not sure if he will be in the playing Xl for the first Test against India at Lord’s AFP

London: Jul 20, 2011

England speedster Stuart Broad feels that Duncan Fletcher’s presence in the Indian dressing room will have little significance in the outcome of the Test series that starts at the Lord’s on Thursday.

“I don’t think the presence of Duncan Fletcher in the India dressing room will be significant….Not too many of us have played a great deal of cricket under Fletch. It will be interesting to see what the conditions are like at the Lord’s too,” Broad wrote in his column for Daily Mail.

However he admitted that it’s huge series in every aspect with a possibility of locking horns with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.

“This is a huge series and we’re very excited about it. You play international cricket to pit yourself against people such as Sachin Tendulkar and the other greats.”

Broad did mention that they have made elaborate plans about the Indian batsmen. “We will have very clear plans for all their batsmen and we will try to hit the ground running, as we do in all series.

“I don’t think their lack of preparation will be a big factor,” he was quoted as saying in his column. Broad’s prediction about the Lord’s pitch is that it will be a low and slow one.

“You only have to look at the famous honour boards to see that Test centuries have outnumbered five-for s here by something like five to one over the past 10 years, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it is a low, slow surface again.

“It’s not exactly what you want as a pace bowler but Lord’s remains a fantastic place to play and it will be a great occasion this week.”

Broad feels that there is no point in thinking about a clear two Test win in order to get the No 1 Test ranking.

“We know that if we win by two clear Tests we will become the best side in the world but we cannot afford to think about that. We have to retain our focus on that first morning and try to set the tone.”

Broad whose place in the squad was under scanner is keen to play the first Test.

“I won’t know for sure if I’m playing until the morning but of course it goes without saying that I desperately want to play and I think I deserve to retain my place.”

Although he didn’t fare well against Sri Lankans, he believes that his five-for in a county game will keep the team management interested.

“I didn’t take many wickets against Sri Lanka but my five wicket haul for Notts will hopefully be to my advantage and it was only five Tests ago that I was making a big hundred at Lord’s. I’ll be ready to go on Thursday. I have no doubts about my ability to do the job for England. I feel fresh and ready to go at the Lord’s.”

Broad took a dig at his critics on the eternal speculation about his future in the team.

“It seems that every summer someone goes through speculation over their future and I take encouragement from Alastair Cook, who had a torrid time last summer and every Tom, Dick or Harry seemed to be saying he should lose his place.

“But then he went to Australia and broke all sorts of Ashes run-scoring records. Perhaps 10 years ago he would have been dropped but the selectors backed him and he came through.”

In the column, Broad also took it upon himself to elaborate the tag of ‘Enforcer’ that has been labelled about him.

“I don’t know if that’s the word for it but part of my job is to bowl with aggression and hostility. If I’m told to rough people up, that’s what I’ll try to do. My bouncer has been effective and is a big weapon in my armoury but I know I can’t overdo it.”

He did admit that it’s the question of balance.

“As with anything, it’s a question of balance. I don’t think I have bowled too short this summer. I bowled a lot of short stuff in the one-day game at Lord’s but that was because we were defending a small total and I had to try to make things happen.

“I bowled only one bouncer in the whole innings at Headingley. People weren t questioning the tactic when I hit Michael Clarke in front of his face.”