The Ashes: Stuart Broad at his most dangerous with a point to prove, say Mike Atherton and Alastair Cook | Cricket News

Michael Atherton

Cricket expert and columnist

“Tough, resilient and stubborn, all those traits you need to be successful at the highest level, plus a little talent and skill. He’s got all of these things”; Mike Atherton, Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali all praise Stuart Broad’s ability to perform with a point to prove

Last updated: 06/01/22 11:34

Stuart Broad is now second on the English Ashes wicket taker list of all time

Stuart Broad is now second on the English Ashes wicket taker list of all time

Stuart Broad’s five wicket tally on his return to England for the fourth Ashes Test proved he is a bowler to be feared when he has a point to prove.

The 35-year-old seamer talked about his frustration at being left out of both the first and third tests of the series, in Brisbane and Melbourne, before the Sydney match and showed what Joe Root’s team was missing as they completed their 19th test five. for the second day at the SCG.

It was the eighth time that Broad has taken five or more wickets in an inning against Australia and means he has now taken more Ashes wickets (125) than the late, great Bob Willis (123) with only Sir Ian Botham (128) ahead of him on England’s all-time list.

While Usman Khawaja’s century ensured it was another tough day – on a tour full of their own – for England, Broad’s exploits were a bright spot.

“He played with real aggression the whole time – a brilliant bouncer to get rid of Pat Cummins. He was definitely England’s outstanding actor.”

Mike Atherton on Stuart Broad

“The straw to hang on for England today was Stuart Broad, 19th place five in Test cricket, he played really well and showed all his class and competitiveness,” said former England captain Michael Atherton. . “As always, when he feels he has a point to prove, he produces.

“If you play more than 100 test games, which he did, you don’t play so many games at the highest level in a tough environment without being tough enough, resilient and stubborn enough, all those features you need to be successful at the highest level. as well as a little bit of talent and skill. He really has all of these things.

“He’s 35, he’s not young for a bowler but he’s not Jimmy Anderson’s age, and he’s channeled all the disappointment of losing to the Gabba and Melbourne – two pretty worthwhile shots – into his performance today.

“I thought he was excellent from the second dance onwards. That was his first spell after lunch, when he got rid of Steve Smith and Cameron Green.

“I thought it was his best spell in the game, in the series. He played with real aggression the whole time – a brilliant bouncer to get rid of Pat Cummins. He was definitely England’s outstanding actor.”

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Former Broad captain Sir Alastair Cook echoed that sentiment and highlighted the stature of those he fired.

“When he has a point to prove, he is often in his most dangerous form,” Cook told BT Sport. “We talked a lot about his exclusion in Brisbane and setting the tone with his battle against David Warner.

“Bringing out two of the big three in (Steve) Smith and Warner is crucial. All thanks to Stuart Broad, it’s probably frustration that he didn’t play a bigger part in this series and when he’s now played a part, The Ashes are disappear “.

Another of Broad’s former teammates, Moeen Ali, told BT Sport: “I’m really happy for him because obviously it’s been a tough tour for the team but more frustration for him because he didn’t have a chance to make an impact. .

“Now you look back at Brisbane and wonder how you can’t play it? It has all the nous, the experience and the skills.”

Atherton was also encouraged by Mark Wood’s performance. The fast bowler went wicket-free on day two despite causing trouble for Aussie hitters all day as any kind of luck abandoned him.

Mark Wood played well with no reward on the second day at the SCG

Mark Wood played well with no reward on the second day at the SCG

However, with Ben Stokes unable to play for much of the day due to a side injury, England struggled for control when their three front-row forwards weren’t in action.

“Mark Wood played with great hostility throughout, he pitched quickly,” added Atherton. “Anderson was fine and then there’s a drop, partly because Jack Leach offers neither control nor threat.

“After everything that happened to The Gabba when they knocked him out, (Joe) Root decided to set up very defensive courts with four or five men out and now Australia are just really milking him, especially lefties.

“We had this morning where England just drifted and Australia accumulated 82 points, I don’t think they hit a limit in the last hour before lunch, but they didn’t seem to want to get out and, from then on. then, it was always likely to be Australia day. “

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