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Nasser Hussain
Cricket Expert & Columnist

The Ashes: Stuart Broad 'unstoppable' as England win 2013 Ashes

Broad inspires England to victory

Nasser Hussain hailed England's 'complete performance' after Alastair Cook's side completed a gutsy 74-run victory over Australia to win the Ashes 3-0 with one Test in hand.

"Stuart Broad is a really streaky bowler but when he gets on a roll like he did today - and the crowd get behind him - he's almost unstoppable."

Nasser Hussain

The tourists appeared on course to win the fourth Test at Durham after reaching 109-0 in pursuit of a victory target of 299 only to capitulate to 224 all out in 68.3 overs as Stuart Broad claimed 6-50.

Read our match report here.

Former England captain Hussain paid tribute to Broad's potency but was also keen to stress that this was very much a team triumph.

"That's three Ashes series in a row that England have won," Hussain told Sky Cricket.

"I know that they've already retained the Ashes but this will mean a lot more. It will relax them as well. They would have been very nervy going to the Oval if it had been 2-1 and I think they've put in some splendid performances at a time when they've needed to.

"England have not been at their best in this series - the top-order has struggled - but runs down the order have been absolutely vital. It has been a really complete performance.

"In the last couple of series it has been about the Cooks, the Trotts and the Pietersens. This series you can put Broad, Bell and Swann in there. It has been a really complete performance from England down the order.

England win Ashes Series

"This series win almost gives you a little bit more pleasure than the win Down Under in 2010/11 because they've had to fight harder; there have been closer, tougher games. They've have to hold their nerve a little bit more in pressure situations.

"There have been times when they have had to deliver and dig deep and they've not been at their best. Sometimes that gives you more pleasure because you are not playing that well but you just find a way of getting the job done and that's what they've done in this series."

Re-group

Australian openers Chris Rogers (49) and David Warner (71) got their side's victory pursuit off to a strong start but the tourists lost eight wickets for 56 runs after Warner was third out with the score on 168, caught behind off a rising Tim Bresnan delivery.

Hussain said that the collapse was as much down to England's decision to alter their lengths as much as Australia's susceptibility to pressure.

"It has not been as easy as some people think it was going to be - they've had to work seriously hard and you do have to feel for Australia," he reflected.

"Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke have put a lot of effort into this series but at times they've just not been able to get over the hurdle. It has been a side that doesn't know how to win against a side that do. Australia were 109-0 chasing down 299 and then they collapsed like that.

Cook pays tribute to Bresnan

"The first thing you have to say is all credit to Australia's openers because of the way that they played. I think England were a little bit short of a length because they'd seen balls go up and down in the morning but they didn't get much mileage out of that.

"So tea came at a good time for them to re-group; the backroom staff obviously said to them 'we need to pitch the ball up a little bit further' and they got their rewards for that.

"You also had to be a little bit patient on this pitch; you didn't have to go searching for wickets. If you got one, you got two - you just tried to hit the top of off-stump constantly and if you did that you would eventually work your way through this Australian batting line-up.

"You just had to hold your nerve and for a while before tea England were losing theirs and getting worried and after tea they regrouped, got back to the top of off-stump and they won the game from that position."

Unstoppable

Ashes victory far from easy

While Bresnan took the important wicket of Warner, it was Broad who steam-rollered the tourists as he picked up his second five-wicket haul of the match.

Fittingly the Nottinghamshire seamer took the final wicket to fall when Peter Siddle (23) chipped the ball to mid-off and Hussain said it was just reward for an 'unstoppable' display.

"You feel for them but it was all down to Stuart Broad; he's a really streaky bowler but when he gets on a roll like he did today - and the crowd get behind him - he's almost unstoppable.

"I think he's a very clever bowler; on interview with Ian Ward after the first innings five-for he said 'we discussed it before the game - the ball we don't want to bowl on this surface is back of a length'.

"That's almost what they were doing up front today and they changed quickly. But you mustn't forget the crowd here; in that middle session they went very quiet and very nervous.

"But once Broad gets on a roll with the crowd behind him he was unstoppable. He was up at 90mph even though it was his eighth over on the bounce. The Australian batsmen were feeling the pressure and the nerves."

He added: "After losing his first game in India, Cook's record as captain has been superb - they've not lost in 12 now. They've won another Ashes series and they are 3-0 up.

"I wasn't a day for inventive captaincy - it was a day for patience and to tell your bowlers 'remember the plans that we had on day one and don't get carried away with the situation' and Cook and his team turned it around'."

Watch the fifth and final Ashes Test on Sky Sports Ashes from 10am on Wednesday 21st August.