Trent Bridge, July 13: Just when it looked like premier England seamer Stuart Broad was in the midst of a lean patch and his spot for the upcoming home Tests against India was in jeopardy, he has stunned his detractors with an outstanding display of fast bowling. Indeed, the 6"5' player emerged on Tuesday as the most incisive bowler in his side Nottinghamshire's county championship match against Somerset, with a haul of 5/95.
The tentativeness and inconsistency which has plagued Broad since Dec last year seemed to have flown out the window with the confidence of a genuine strike bowler re-emerging. Granted, his opponents went on to amass a formidable total of 386 in their first innings. But Broad broke a pivotal 290-run stand, something his fellow bowlers just couldn't do.
His bowling exuded a professionalism that has been sorely lacking for him in recent times. He eschewed the over-pitched deliveries that have defined his efforts over the last few weeks, for a much more unsettling length, while effortlessly producing bounce and seam.
Even though this, his home-ground, has a reputation of being conducive for fast-bowling, Broad still had to get the ball in the right areas. Indeed, he maintained a stringent, unrelenting off-stump line which resulted in three caught-behinds.
The showing has rendered Broad just the kind of fillip he needs to edge out Ashes hero and fellow pace-bowler Tim Bresnan for a slot in the Test squad against India. But now he needs to keep up the killer instinct through the rest of the match. Can he do it?