Stuart Broad is no stranger to walking into matches with the feeling of something special. He got a eleven wicket haul against the West Indies in the first test at Lord’s and at one point, was up for a hat trick too. While he didn’t get the hat trick, he got his names on the Lord’s honours boards for batting and bowling – one of only 7 cricketer to do so.
Broad now makes his way back to his home ground and that too, with a hat trick to back him (Broad took a hat trick against India last year at Trent Bridge.) Broad took MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar in succession.
“It was definitely one of the highlights of my career,” Broad said fondly of the achievement, according to the Daily Mail (UK) and further continued, “I don't think it could have been much better. It was a Saturday evening about 5pm and the crowd was really lively. The atmosphere was incredible when I bowled Kumar for the hat-trick. It went wild. I have very fond memories of that.”
Having played most of his formative cricket at Trent Bridge, Broad obviously knows the ground a lot better and is expected to get continued success. Speaking about his home ground, Broad said, “I love playing at Trent Bridge, I think it’s one of the best grounds in the world and a lot of the other guys love it too. If you bowl well there's always something in it for you.”
However, all of that is water under the bridge and Broad has set his sights on the West Indies. Having being the ‘decimator-in –chief’ in the previous game, Broad intends to keep the momentum going.
Broad has picked up 158 wickets in 46 tests and his performance against the West Indies in the first test has propelled him to joint number 3 in the ICC international rankings for bowlers. Broad shares the honours with fellow countryman James Anderson.
Another of Broad’s teammates Graeme Swann is fifth in the list. Speaking about his company, Broad said, “To have Swanny, Jimmy and myself all in the top five is testament to how far we've come as a team.”
Everybody has been wondering if Chris Gayle will be fast-tracked to England, to bolster the West Indies batting. When Broad was asked for his opinion, he seemed least concerned. “We haven't looked at any footage of Chris,” Broad said. Emphasizing that England is really not losing any sleep over possibilities of the big Jamaican joining the West Indian squad, Broad continued,
“He’s not currently in the squad so we’d be silly to do that. If he gets named in the team we’ll do our research and of course we expect to see him in the ODIs and T20s, but until we hear otherwise he’s not on our radar.”