Stuart Broad claimed 4 wickets to bring England back into the Boxing Day contest    Getty Images
Stuart Broad claimed 4 wickets to bring England back into the Boxing Day contest Getty Images

Stuart Broad was under fire from critics after his career-worst 0 for 142 at Perth as England went on to concede the urn. Broad, who had a terrible run in the Ashes 2017-18, found form in the Boxing Day Test. He picked a 4-for to restrict Australia to 329.

Broad admitted that he was defensive at Perth and focussed on restricting runs than taking wickets. The Nottinghamshire pacer made some mental adjustments as he found form at Melbourne.

Broad said, “I think every time you step on to the field you’re pretty much playing for your career, that’s the pressure of international cricket. You never know how things will go, you just need to focus on making sure that your mindset’s right, your work ethics right to make sure you’re doing everything to be at your best.

“To be honest I’ve had one of those weeks where you get your tin hat on and duck down and don’t really see much, so I’ve been very unaware about things being written and things being said.

“I’ve gone to the place that you have to go to as a sportsman sometimes where you find something within yourself and you get support from people around you and you build yourself back up again. I think you can get yourself in a bit of dark place if you really read everything.”

‘No animosity’

Michael Vaughan was amongst the detractors who asked to drop Broad from the MCG Test. Broad accepted the fact that he deserved criticism and had no animosity who called for his exclusion.

“Things happen and can change really quickly in sport and I’ve always had this appreciation that people are just doing their jobs. You’ve got to say your opinion, you’ve got to be critical at times and I deserve criticism after the Perth Test defeat for sure.

“I am not going to hold any grudges or get too disappointed if people slag me off because at the end of the day in 15 years’ time I might be doing the same, not six months,” he added.

Change in mindset

“I need that mentality as a bowler of, ‘Where’s my next wicket coming from?’ Not, ‘Where am I going to stop the next boundary?'” he said. “It’s a small mental change but actually quite a big thing for me as a cricketer. I think I’ve run in really well here in this innings. The wickets are a bit irrelevant, it’s actually the process that gets you the wickets and I think my process was much better this week.”

Fantastic position for England

Bowling out Australia for 327, England are 192 for 2 with Alastair Cook slamming a hundred. Broad however is wary about the quality of Australian bowling and how hard they will come on Day Three.

“We’re two (wickets) down on a pitch where you think day two and three would be best time to bat potentially, but we know Australia will hit back hard tomorrow morning. That’s what we did as a bowling unit this morning and it will take a lot of skill to bat big,” he said.