Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad Is Flying for England and He's Yet to Take Any Flak

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad Is Flying for England and He's Yet to Take Any Flak

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Brenkley in Sydney

COACH Darren Lehmann called on Australia fans to send Stuart Broad home in tears but the weather has been the only factor likely to make him cry since arriving Down Under.

The bowler took three wickets as the rain relented for England's final warm-up game before the Ashes and the Cricket Australia Invitation XI made 271 for five, having been 93 for five early in the afternoon.

Broad, who infuriated the Aussies by not walking in the First Test at Trent Bridge in the summer, said: "Everyone has been brilliant so far. I've been looking around for a bit [of abuse] but nothing has come.

"The crowds we have played in front of so far have been very respectful of the cricket we've played and enjoyed it from what we heard out in the middle.

"It might be a different story at the Gabba in a week but we are prepared for that as a team. If you come over here as an English cricketer and don't get some abuse, you are doing something wrong."

Much, if not all of the intrigue here today lay in the contest within the contest. Assuming that injured players recover, only one place, for the third seamer, is now available for the First Test next week. Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin were invited to file last-minute applications after being chosen for the match ahead of their rival for the spot, Chris Tremlett.

Their performances probably meant that the tourists were little the wiser about who should start the series. All three quicks have so far done barely more than flatter to deceive and neither player chosen today made a cast-iron case for selection in Brisbane. Although Rankin was superior, it was Finn who took two wickets. Rankin's rhythm in both approach and landing was smoother, Finn was regularly careering off the runway short of speed.

Only Finn's record as a proven Test wicket taker can possibly make him a viable proposition but it is difficult to think that will be sufficient. Rankin, who began slowly in Perth, still looks a little short but that could be said for all England's bowlers. …

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