Broad hands on enforcer role
England seamer reflects on turnaround in form
Last Updated: 23/08/11 10:35pm
Broad: One of England's star performers
Stuart Broad is delighted to hand England's 'enforcer' role on to Tim Bresnan - even if he does so tongue in cheek.
Broad responded to this summer's first serious question marks over his international standing with a string of outstanding all-round performances to be man of the series in England's 4-0 npower whitewash of India.
He had a 'Bothamesque' Test on his home ground at Trent Bridge - 108 runs and eight wickets, including a first-innings hat-trick - to rescue England from a distinctly unpromising situation on the way to a wide-margin victory.
That was the second, pivotal, success of a campaign which brought him 25 wickets at an astounding 13.84 and a batting average of more than 60 - at number nine.
Yet the 25-year-old's spectacular renaissance came after an Ashes and World Cup winter ravaged by injury, a lacklustre Test series against Sri Lanka - and calls for him to be dropped resulting in just that, for the final match of the NatWest Series victory over Tillekeratne Dilshan's tourists at Old Trafford.
It was a short but testing period of necessary reassessment for Broad, and one which became synonymous with his tag as England's 'enforcer'.
The term was allowed to slip into common usage by the team management, and one which did Broad no favours as he appeared to rely too heavily on a short ball.
"It has been a big learning curve. It was the first time this summer in my short career that I have been put under a huge amount of pressure like that. You do start asking questions of yourself. Those questions needed answering."
Stuart Broad Quotes of the week
Wickets dried up alarmingly, and Broad resolved to return to what he does best - by testing batsmen on the front as well as back foot.
"I think throughout this series it is my fuller ball that has got the wickets - now we can call Bressy 'the enforcer'," he said, with a smile and no little apparent relief.
Bresnan may not be especially pleased to inherit the troublesome tag, but has proved since replacing the injured Chris Tremlett for the Nottingham Test that his broad shoulders can handle the responsibility.
Broad, meanwhile, admits he has learned some important lessons this summer.
"My bouncer is a dangerous weapon and always will be for me, but to use that once as a surprise every over makes that fuller ball more dangerous.
"It has been a big learning curve.
"It was the first time this summer in my short career that I have been put under a huge amount of pressure like that.
"You do start asking questions of yourself. Those questions needed answering."
The solution came from within, with a little trusted advice along the way.
"It doesn't matter what people think outside the changing room - I personally had to work out what type of bowler I wanted to be and what was the best way to take Test wickets.
"Then for it to happen straight away at Lord's, to pick up four wickets - and could have potentially had more - that length showed me the way to go.
"I followed that throughout the Test series, and 25 wickets at 13 or 14 speak for themselves."