Broad hopes Australia fight fire with fire in Ashes

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Stuart Broad hopes Australia try to fight fire with fire by trying to adopt England's aggressive approach in the Ashes.

England have enjoyed a significant upturn in fortunes since Brendon McCullum was appointed Test head coach and Ben Stokes replaced Joe Root as captain.

An attacking philosophy enabled them to secure an unprecedented 3-0 away series whitewash of Pakistan after they beat New Zealand and South Africa on home soil, as well as India in a rearranged Test.

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They also drew 1-1 in New Zealand, losing a thrilling second Test by one run after making the Black Caps follow-on.

Seamer Broad believes Australia could come unstuck if they try to score at a rapid rate in the battle for the urn.

He told the Daily Mail: "'It's going to be a slight clash of styles and I'm fascinated to see how their bowling attack will defend against us.

"And it will be interesting to see how their batters stay calm because we play so aggressively now. Will they be able stick to their game plans and bubbles when we're playing this style? That will be a test for them.

"I think it would be great for us if Australia try to take us on at our own game. If we can get them playing in a slightly different style they could make mistakes and that would be brilliant for us.

"Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja are all guys who like to bat time and accumulate so if we can nibble away at them and just get them thinking 'why are we not scoring quicker? Why are we not moving the game forward?'

"We leave Jack Leach's mid-on and mid-off in all the time and Stokesey basically says 'you're not having them back. Let them keep hitting you'.

"And he's probably got more caught mid-offs now than lbs, so it's playing on minds. I'd love Smith to dance down the track and sky one to mid-off early doors. That would be classic."

England were hammered 4-0 in the last Ashes series in Australia, but Broad has written that off as "void".

"Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series," he said. "But in my mind I don't class that as a real Ashes. The definition of Ashes cricket is elite sport with lots of passion and players at the top of their game.

"Nothing about that series was high level performance because of the Covid restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialise. I've written it off as a void series."