Broad targets good start

All-rounder says first Ashes session is vital to series

Last Updated: 04/07/09 3:59pm

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Broad: Targeting good start

Broad: Targeting good start

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Stuart Broad says it is vital that England get off to a good start in the first session of the Ashes next week.

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The eagerly awaited series gets underway in Cardiff on Wednesday with home fans hoping to reproduce the success of four years ago, when Michael Vaughan's side triumphed 2-1.

England all-rounder Broad remembers how Steve Harmison bowled a brutal opening spell at Lord's in the first Test back in 2005 when the Durham paceman hit Justin Langer and Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting.

He now hopes such a statement of intent will be made in Cardiff.

Broad said: "The first session of any series is so important. That just isn't the case for an Ashes series. We talk about that in every Test series we play.

"Whether it is the batsman or the bowlers, it is about setting the tone in the series. It is absolutely vital.

"That is what you get your minds ready for before the Test match, making sure you make that statement as early as you can in the series.

"It is basically a case of getting the first punch in, so to speak, and then go on from there. We do know how vital momentum is in a Test match series."

Exciting

He added: "I do remember when Steve Harmison hit Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting. He hit them very hard and it was exciting to watch and what a fantastic start for the Test summer.

"People sometimes forget we lost that first Test quite convincingly really at Lord's and to come back and show the strength of character we did was superb.

"We don't want to be in that position of being down this time around but, if we are, it is important we show the same sort of resolve."

Broad admits the success of 2005 inspired him to try and aspire to the same heights in his career.

"That was my debut season for Leicestershire. It was a great summer to start playing cricket with what happened that summer," he recalled.

"It inspired me to bigger and better things and gave me that real excitement to push and play for England.

"I remember watching the last day of the Edgbaston Test, which England won by two runs, and I was as nervous as anyone else.

"I find it more nervous watching sport on TV than playing and being involved in it because you get a different perspective of it.

"I was watching it at my mum's near Oakham. I'd gone home for the day. My mum couldn't even watch it. She was in the kitchen pottering around. She couldn't watch it so goodness knows how she feels now that I am playing!

Never dreamt

"I never dreamt then of having a chance of playing in the next home Ashes series. It has all moved on very quickly for me but what a fantastic opportunity it will be.

"The cricket in 2005 was so exciting. It had a good balance throughout the series. It was never 600 plays 600 with everyone just falling asleep. There was always something going on and that is what we hope it is like this summer."

But Broad is not looking too far ahead this summer, instead focusing on the first morning of the series.

He said: "Can the Ashes make you a big hero? It is not really something you think of. That is a really big picture of it. You don't really concentrate on that as you are building up to an Ashes series.

"You try to keep the build-up as very normal as possible and just focus on what you are going to do that first morning of an Ashes series and take it from there really.

"You get into hot water if you look too far ahead and what could happen.

"The key is to focus on how we as a team and individuals are going to approach that first Ashes Test to make sure we get off on the right foot."

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