Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Lift the Shackles with New Sense of Freedom

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Lift the Shackles with New Sense of Freedom

Article excerpt

Byline: David Clough

STUART Broad senses a new beginning is under way for him and his England teammates as they finally free themselves from the hangover of last winter's Ashes whitewash.

Broad (three for 65) and James Anderson (three for 52) had to work especially hard to take six India wickets between them as the tourists closed day three of the third Investec Test on 323 for eight in reply to 569 for seven declared.

But their deserved success, in batting conditions at the Ageas Bowl, is a prime indication to Broad - after some disappointing showings of late - that England are back on track.

A pep talk with coach Peter Mooores appears to have done the trick for the pace bowler, who cited the return to form here of captain Alastair Cook and a big hundred from Ian Bell as further evidence that the talented core of England's team is firing again.

"I think maybe the (senior) players have put too much pressure on themselves - after what, since the Durham Test (last summer), has been a pretty tough run," he said.

"Maybe we got a bit uptight.

"Before this Test match, Mooresy came to a few of us and said 'just go and express yourself - don't worry about having to take responsibility ... just go and play, like it's your first Test match.

"I think that's shone through a little bit."

Cook and Bell, along with another century from new boy Gary Ballance, helped England pile up the runs before the bowlers got to work.

"Cookie and Belly played fantastically with the bat, and Jimmy and I have contributed with the ball," added Broad.

"Everyone was having a laugh, and smiles on their faces, and I think that showed in our cricket.

"We kept the energy up throughout the whole day. We were brilliant."

The defensive tactics England were forced to adopt for much of the winter have been hard to shake off for Broad. …

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