Stuart Broad, back to his best

Published: Sunday, July 24, 2011, 13:13 [IST]
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Stuart Broad, back to his best

London, July 24: He is coming off a recent past rife with injury and inconsistency. But English paceman Stuart Broad returned the prefix "spearhead" to his name through a remarkable showing with the ball on Day 3 of the Lord's Test against India. Broad eschewed his bouncers for full deliveries which reaped him a rich haul of 4 key wickets on a day which saw England firmly ensconce itself in the driver's seat.

Broad first broke India's opening stand by foxing a settled Gautam Gambhir with a full, straight and swinging delivery. The deception had the batsman playing down the wrong line to a ball that crashed into his middle and leg stump. England had drawn first blood.

But Broad had already set his sights on the scalp of the other opener Abhinav Mukund, who was approaching his fifty in relative quick time. This contest culminated in Broad inducing a fatal inner edge as Mukund attempted an ambitious drive while offering no resistance to the swing. Alas, he was on his way back for 49.

Then in a dramatic 46th over of the Indian innings, Broad was denied two more wickets to his kitty when first his captain Andrew Strauss put down a sitter at slip from a VVS Laxman edge and then five balls later, Graeme Swann clanged another catch from Rahul Dravid, at a similar fielding position.

But such misfortune soon dissipated the frown in the English camp, when Broad crashed the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar's party with a fantastic delivery which was full and swerved away at the last instant, picking up a fatal edge which Swann made sure not to spill this time around.

Finally, after Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann pegged India back further, Broad returned to help finish off the Indian innings. Indian hard-hitting seamer Praveen Kumar turned Broad's fourth victim when he decided to take on a bouncer. His effort at the pull-hook however descended neatly into the hands of a sprinting Andrew Strauss.

Broad seemed to have heeded the consultation of his coach Andy Flower who urged him to concentrate on his accuracy, rather that attempting to bowl with more pace and bounce. In the end, Broad had used all the weapons in his armoury to subject India to a potent gamut for which the visitors struggled to respond to.

Oneindia Cricket

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