Stuart Broad was the only selection delima England had before the start of first test, and rightly so too because he hadn't bowled anywhere close what one expects from England's T20 captain against Sri Lankans and was even dropped for deciding one dayer against the visitors. Voices were raised in favour of Tim Bresnan to replace Broad against India..
Stuart Broad went back to his county Nottinghamshire, took a five-for and returned to Lord's to bowl like nothing had happened. He was the pick of the bowlers from either side and integral to England's 1-0 lead. Writing his column for The Daily Mail, Broad says he's elated to have thrust prople off his back.
"It was when we sat down in the Lord's dressing room after our amazing first Test victory, all absolutely exhausted but elated, that Andrew Strauss said something which really hit home. Our captain reminded us that, in any walk of life, when you work really hard for something it means so much more when you actually achieve it. We worked our backsides off to go 1-0 up against India and it feels really good now to have won."
"That was old-fashioned, hard-fought Test cricket and from a personal point of view it was incredibly satisfying to play my part in the victory after a difficult start to the season with a few people on my back. I never believed I would be dropped. I had spoken a lot with David Saker, our bowling coach, and he told me I hadn't done a huge amount wrong this season, that I just hadn't had much luck. He helped keep my confidence intact".
So what did transformed Stuart Broad in a week's time? bowling a fuller length was quite evident but the lanky seamer says tuning up was done more in his mind than his anything else.
"What I did do, though, was have a good chat with Strauss before the game about my role. Much has been made of whether or not I should be labelled an 'enforcer' but I have bowled this season in the way that I have thought was in the best interests of the team. You take the pitches and the opposition into account plus the views of your captain and you do what you think is right", Broad writes.
"Yet the game I had for Nottinghamshire against Somerset in the Championship did me a lot of good, I think, because, as it was at Trent Bridge, it encouraged me to pitch the ball up and try to make the ball swing. That was exactly what was right for the first Test at Lord's, too, because the pitch was a bit slow and difficult for batsmen to play the drive. I was looking at an analysis of my bowling on Tuesday that I think summed it up."
"In the last Test against Sri Lanka, 40 per cent of my deliveries pitched back of a length, but in the first Test against India 84 per cent of my deliveries were on a good, full length. That was the way the captain wanted me to bowl and he gave me a cover fielder as a bit of protection to encourage me to pitch it up. It is clearly the way for me to go in future, with the short ball still hopefully an effective weapon when circumstances dictate."
And what about the batsman in Broad that took Indians by surprize in second innings when Ishant Sharma had England tottering at 5 wkts for 64? Broad scored 74 not out off just 90 balls and put on a counter attacking century stand with Matt Prior for his team to declare and force a result.
"There were runs for me in the Test and I must admit I was a nervous boy when I went out to join Matt Prior on Sunday afternoon, having got a first-baller in the first innings and with the team suddenly in a bit of trouble at around 100 for six. But I love batting with Matt. We tend to think about the game the same way and we both try to play with positive intent".
"People talk about us lacking an all-rounder but, for me, Matt is a genuine world-class all-rounder. His keeping is brilliant and he averages 45 with the bat at a strike rate second only to Shahid Afridi. I really think he is our very own Adam Gilchrist now".
"I am trying to convince my body that it is not tired at the moment and I don't think the fast bowlers will be doing much training today in case we are back in the field on Friday in the second Test. Yet come Friday morning we will be ready and, hopefully, on the money. It is one down and three to go and now I'm heading to my home ground of Trent Bridge for a huge Test. It is one that we are all looking forward to immensely", Broad concludes.