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Stuart Broad called on England to use a “short-term mindset” in the Ashes and demanded their batters step up after his five-wicket haul in Sydney that helped “relight that fire” to continue playing Test cricket.
England suffered a tough day two of the Fourth Test, closing on 13 without loss after Australia racked up 416 for eight declared. To top things off, Ben Stokes suffered a left side injury that clouds his participation in the remainder of the series, particularly as a bowler.
Broad bowled superbly, securing his second five-wicket haul in Australia having been recalled after a tough tour. Broad made no secret of his displeasure at being left out on green surfaces in Brisbane and Melbourne, but was back with a bang here, having put 2021, his “worst year” in Test cricket, behind him.
“I haven't been a regular this year,” he said. “When I was 26 I expected to play every game and I haven't done that this year. So when you miss a few and then you play you realise how awesome it is, how special it is.
“2021 was my worst year for sure, with the intermittent cricket – play one, miss one. But bowling today made me relight that fire again, like' yeah, this is awesome'. It's a great stadium, good atmosphere and bowling at the world's best.... it's what it's about.
“I've still got a burning desire to play the sport. Nothing can bring you the satisfaction, the pain, the highs and the lows. They are quite addictive.”
Despite plenty of speculation that this could be his final series, Broad said he had his sights on the tour of West Indies in March, and next year’s home Ashes.
Broad said England needed to stop thinking long-term and try to get back to a winning mentality.
“It's a mindset now that I think within this group, instead of looking ahead at what's coming next year, what's coming in the winter, what's coming in the next Ashes series, actually, can we get back to the real basics of what's ahead of us right now?” he said.
“How are we winning this next Test match because sometimes your brain leads you too far away from what's in front of you. I'd urge us as players to do that. We don't know what the world's going to look like. We don't know what cricket is going to look like in June and next November, but can we win tomorrow?
“We are disappointed to have lost this Ashes series three nil obviously, devastated by it. But can we have an impact in Sydney? Can we have an impact in Hobart? And then we board a flight home and reassess.
“We need a bit of a short-term mindset, in my opinion, for the next couple of games, because there's some points to prove for every player.”
When asked if he wondered “what if” over his omission earlier in the tour, Broad said bluntly: “You can dissect loads on this trip but actually first innings runs is where you live in Test cricket. We’ve failed to deliver that.
“When you ask what might have been? Honestly, it doesn’t matter what bowlers you play if you get bowled out for 140. That might be a bit brutal but that’s the truth in Test cricket.”