London, July 5: It looks like England pacer Stuart Broad has hit rock-bottom this summer. He has not ensnared a single wicket in the one-day series against Sri Lanka of the latter's ongoing tour. To add insult to injury, he has been set back by 1,500 pounds for using harsh language at umpire Billy Bowden during the second encounter at Headingly.
The fact that he showed such dissent against a match official over turning down his appeal for an lbw only goes to show that he has reached boiling point. The underlying issue however is that he's the midst of a perilously lean patch where his fast-bowling is concerned.
He has so far returned grossly unimpressive figures of 0/32 from 6 overs, and 70/0 and 0/52 in 10 over spells. On Sunday, he appared to have upped his game, by testing Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal with a flurry of short balls. But even deliveries which struck Chandimal on the gloves, evaded fielders.
"He overstepped the mark, he accepts that, but he bowled well and made life uncomfortable which is what Stuart does well," said England captain Alastair Cook. "Broady has always played that way, it's why he's got so far in the game so quickly. Occasionally he has overstepped the mark and he knows that. When you are wrong you put your hands up."
Now it's time for Broad to return to his roots and that's exactly what he will doing when he marks his run-up at his homeground of Trent Bridge for the crucial fourth ODI against the Lankans. This might be close to his last chance to prove himself as perceptibly more potent players are waiting in the wings. These include current 12th man Jade Dernbach, Ashes hero Tim Bresnan and fellow paceman Graham Onions.
Dogged by injuries over England's tour of Australia last Dec and the World Cup earlier this year, Broad has played just 5 out of England 21's one-dayers during the period. Now all eyes are on him to see if he will make one count.