England v West Indies Tests - Men's
Broad turns to Warne for batting inspiration
England tailender reveals he tried to emulate Ashes rival Shane Warne in the batting stakes after blazing third-fastest Test fifty
26 July 2020, 08:02 AM AEST
Stuart Broad has unveiled the unlikeliest of inspirations for his batting revival – Australian leg-spin icon Shane Warne.
Broad mimicked Warne's batting stance at the wicket in an innings that saw him blaze a 33-ball fifty, the joint third-fastest Test fifty for England.
Only Ian Botham has scored quicker Test fifties for England – having done so from 28 balls against India in 1981 and again off 32 balls against New Zealand in 1986.
Broad joins Andrew Flintoff and Allan Lamb in hitting 33-ball fifties before going on for a 45-ball 62 that included nine fours and a six in an innings that turned the tide of the match in England's favour.
Warne, the king of leg-spin bowling, tormented England with the ball across 14 years of Ashes cricket, and still holds the record for the most Test runs without ever having scored a century.
But it was his stance at the crease that Broad adopted for the third Test against the West Indies after a suggestion from the former England head coach Peter Moores, who is now at Broad's county, Nottinghamshire.
"Tactically it was the right thing to do and something I've worked on with Peter Moores at Nottinghamshire," Broad said after play.
"He brought me the example of Shane Warne who didn't look particularly pretty at times but hit balls in different areas and was really effective, especially in the 2005 Ashes.
"Quite unorthodox, opening up different parts of the field; I looked at that, did a bit of research as to how he went about it and decided it was a good way for me to go – opening up the off side.
"It felt pretty comfortable today; having a clear game plan of what to do.
"Batting is such a frustrating, weird thing. If you'd have told me this morning I'd get 10, I'd be pretty happy, and then you end up getting 60 and start kicking the ground that you've not got 70."
"There was a little bit of thought process in the madness, but I did enjoy myself out there.
Broad came to the wicket with England at 8-280 and looking at a below-par score as the West Indies dominated the first session of day two.
Ollie Pope had been dismissed without adding to his overnight score of 91, and Jos Buttler had failed to kick on from his half-century to fall for 67, both dismissed by Shannon Gabriel.
Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer had fallen in quick succession to Kemar Roach, who joined the 200 Test wicket club for the West Indies, the ninth bowler from the Caribbean to reach that milestone.
"They were quite important runs. It was about changing the momentum of the innings," Broad said.
"West Indies bowled beautifully this morning and I think if I had gone out there and tried to play regulation I think there was a ball with my name on it.
"I tried to up the momentum, hit the bowlers off a length and try and take Kemar (Roach) and Shannon (Gabriel) away from what they'd done so well in the first 40 minutes.
Broad has notoriously struggled against pace, and particularly short-pitch bowling, since suffering facial injuries from a Varun Aaron bouncer at Old Trafford in a 2014 Test against India.
Broad had a Test century and 10 fifties before that injury that left him requiring hospital treatment for an injury to his nose as well as two black eyes.
Warne dominated the fabled 2005 Ashes Test series with the ball to take 40 wickets at 19.92, but also added 249 runs at 27.66, with a high score of 90, coincidentally coming at this same Old Trafford venue.
Warne famously never made a Test ton, but came agonisingly close against New Zealand at the WACA Ground in 2001, when he was caught off a "filthy slog" on what later was revealed to be a Daniel Vettori no-ball.
Broad then followed up his heroics with the bat with key contributions with the ball, taking a wicket in his first over and returning to remove the dangerous Roston Chase to finish day two with 2-17 from 10 overs.
The West Indies had slumped to 6-137, still trailing England's first innings of 369 by 232 runs.
"We've given ourselves a great opportunity. Our number one aim tomorrow has to be to try and bowl them out so that we have the option of a follow-on," Broad said.