NEW DELHI: England fast bowler Stuart Broad will become his country’s 14th entrant into the community of cricketers to play 100 Tests, when the first Test against India gets underway in Rajkot on Wednesday. Ahead of Broad’s 100th Test, here’s a look at ten defining performances.
5/37 v Australia, The Oval, 2009
The match, history may well confirm, that turned Broad’s career. Until this stage viewed widely as a promising pace bowler yet to tap his full potential, it was at The Oval in the fifth Test of the 2009 Ashes that Broad delivered a crippling spell that won England back the coveted little urn. The home team had been hammered in the fourth Test and needed to win. In reply to England’s first innings of 332, Australia were 73/0 when Broad was tossed the ball. When his spell of 12-1-37-5 was over, they were 133/8. His victims? Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin.
4/43 v South Africa, Durban, 2009
Graeme Swann walked away with the match honours for taking nine wicket in England’s innings win in the second Test, but they would not have been 1-0 without Broad’s clinical strikes on the fourth evening. South Africa unwound stunningly in a collapse of 6/23 in 71 balls, of which four went to Broad. Swann started the wobble before Broad bowled Jacques Kallis with a peach of an in-cutter, after which he found himself on a hat-trick with the wickets of AB de Villiers and JP Duminy, both bowled via misjudged attempts to leave. Mark Boucher averted the hat-trick but fell to Broad on the following morning, with South Africa all out for 133.
169 v Pakistan, Lord’s, 2010
The Test match which will forever be linked to Pakistan and spot-fixing bore Broad’s stamp – for all the right reasons. England had a 2-1 lead but defeat would mean the series would be shared. On the first day, they were in peril at 107/2 when Broad walked out to bat and paired Jonathan Trott. What followed was a rearguard for the ages – even keeping in mind the dubious angles of this Test – as England were revived to 446. Trott was last out for 184, while Broad hit 169 in a stand worth 332 that won the hosts the match. His was the highest score by an England No 9 and put Broad on the honors board at Lord’s. Broad the batsman trumped Broad the bowler (he took three wickets) but that century fetched him the Man-of-the-Match award.
6/46 v India, Trent Bridge, 2011
A gripping second day’s play featured a hat-trick by Broad in a spell of 5.1-2-5-5 that stunned India and kept their lead to just 67. Broad’s burst in front of his home crowd changed the complexion of the game at the end of an eventful day, and set England on for a 2-0 lead.
India, trailing the four-match series 0-1, were comfortably placed at 267/4 at one stage before Broad’s then career-best 6/46 created havoc. Having been bowled out for 221 and then allowing India to rally ahead, England needed something magical and that’s precisely what Broad delivered. Taking the second new ball, he removed Yuvraj Singh in the sixth over with one that seamed and reared away from the batsman. In his next over, Broad got MS Dhoni to nick to second slip, rapped Harbhajan Singh on the pads (replays showed there was a thick inside edge) and clean bowled Praveen Kumar to become the first bowler in Test history to take a hat-trick against India. The fifth wicket came when Ishant Sharma was taken out with a snorter, meaning India had been dismissed for 288. They had spectacularly lost six wickets for 21 runs.
7/72 v West Indies, Lord’s, 2012
A complete rout of West Indies in the summer of 2012 began at Lord’s where Broad claimed 11 wickets, seven on the tourists’ first innings of 234 in 89.5 overs. Late on the opening day, he took five wickets to swing the Test back England’s way as West Indies stumbled from 181/4 to 243/9. The slide began with Marlon Samuels’ swish to backward point, from where West Indies lost Adrian Barath, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards to cede the momentum. Broad claimed his seventh to end the innings without a run added. When West Indies batted again, he added four wickets to finish with a match haul of 11/165 from 58.5 overs.
7/44 v New Zealand, Lord’s, 2013
The conditions were in his favour and Broad used them excellently to secure England an astonishing 170-run win in the series opener. New Zealand appeared to have made all the right movements by taking the last four England wickets in less than an hour to set themselves a target of 239, but instead their batsmen capitulated to Broad’s pace and movement and crashed to 68 in 22.3 overs. It truly was an exceptional display of fast bowling from Broad, who took seven wickets in 11 overs.
With his ninth ball he had Peter Fulton caught behind and then prized out two in an over, first pegging back Hamish Rutherford’s off stump and two balls later getting Ross Taylor caught at first slip. This prompted Alastair Cook to expand the slip cordon to five but Broad’s next victim, Kane Williamson, was held at short extra-cover as the pressure told on New Zealand. He claimed Brendon McCullum lbw for 8 as the tourists slumped to 29/6 and then plucked out two more to put the finishing touches on a famous win.
5/71 & 6/50 v Australia, Durham, 2013
James Anderson helped England get a hand on the Ashes and Broad ensured they grabbed it at Chester-le-Street. He first played a hand in reigning Australia in from an overnight 222/5 to 270 all out within 14 overs on the third morning, running through the lower order to finish with 5/71. But it was on the final day that he was at his destructive best.
Bowling quickly and aggressively, Broad produced an inspired spell that saw Australia go from 168/2 to 224 all out – a collapse of eight wickets for 56 runs – in pursuit of 299 for victory. His devastating burst of 6/20 in 45 balls pulled the floor out from beneath the visitor’s feat: Clarke was bowled, Steven Smith dragged at attempted pull shot onto his stumps, Haddin and Ryan Harris were lbw at Nathan Lyon cleaned up. The end came when Broad changed ends and plucked out Peter Siddle to seal a 74-run win. His match figures of 11/121 were the finest of his career and the best by an England bowler in the Ashes since Phil Tufnell’s 11/93 at The Oval in 1997.
6/25 v India, Manchester, 2014
Under fire after the debacle in Australia, England lost the Test series to Sri Lanka before going 0-1 down against India, but Moeen Ali and Anderson helped them restore parity as the teams moved to Old Trafford for the fourth Test, and what followed was stunning. Within minutes of India winning the toss and electing to bat in overcast conditions on a lively pitch, they were reduced to 8/4. England’s premier fast-bowling duo was back and how, and Broad went onto take 6/25 as India were blown away for 152 before tea. Broad had somewhat banished the demons of Australia, and even though he couldn’t bowl in the second innings after suffering a broken nose while batting, his opening-day efforts laid the platform for England’s crushing win.
8/15 v Australia, Trent Bridge, 2015
With all due respect to Tufnell’s 7/66 in that 1997 cracker at The Oval, not since Bob Willis’ 8/43 at Headingley in 1981 has an England bowler achieved such a break-out performance. This was Australia’s worst performance in years, and where they surrendered the Ashes. Their 18.3 over innings was the shortest in Test history; never before had the fourth, fifth and sixth wickets fallen so early, and at no time in Ashes history had extras contributed the most to a scorecard. Leading the way was Broad, hero extraordinaire with an astounding spell of 9.3-5-15-8, his career best in Tests and the eighth best for England in Tests. From 60 all out, there was no way Clarke’s team were going to save this match. By stumps, England led by 214 runs after Joe Root scored a fine 124 not out. It was an Ashes pace-bowling special to rank alongside Glenn McGrath’s 8/38, Jason Gillespie’s 7/37 and Bob Massie’s 8/53 – except this time, an Englishman was the one doing the damage.
6/17 v South Africa, Johannesburg, 2016
It has been levelled at Broad that his best performances have come in England, and the stats show as much: 232 of his 360 wickets have come in England in 57 Tests, as opposed to 108 in 36 overseas.
But during the third Test of the South Africa tour in January this year, he improved his numbers overseas with a display that floored the hosts and confirmed their fall from No 1 in the ICC rankings. His spell of five wickets for one run in 36 deliveries sent South Africa hurtling to 83 all out, leaving England 74 to get to complete a series win. His devastation started with Dean Elgar nicking a snorter to the wicketkeeper, followed by the wickets of Stiaan van Zyl, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Temba Bavuma as the hosts went from 23 without loss to 35/5 in the hour after lunch. When he finished with 6/17, Broad moved to third in England’s all-time Test wicket-takers’ list, behind only Anderson and Botham.
Source: Times of India