By Rob Barnett
Stuart Broad has targeted limiting India to low scores to keep him and his fellow fast bowlers fresh during the five-game Investec Test Series that starts on Wednesday at Trent Bridge.
It will be a gruelling period for all players involved but particularly for the pacemen, who put more demand on their bodies than their counterparts.
Broad, who has mainly rested since England’s last international action, the heart-breaking Test loss to Sri Lanka at Headingley, says he and his fellow home seamers can help themselves over the next month and a half.
“We’ve got 42 days, 25 Test match days, 10 training days, five travel days – (that) only leaves two days without cricket duty,” he explained.
“A lot depends on how we bowl. If India are getting four- or five-hundred every innings then the bowlers might have to take a break from time to time.
“But if we’re bowling really well and we’re only fielding for 80-90 overs an innings, that obviously makes a huge difference on the workload.
“The important thing will be to keep the bowlers as fresh as we can.”
Broad believes England can draw confidence from the Sri Lanka series, although it ended in defeat, and from India’s last rubber in the UK.
On their previous Test tour to these shores Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side were whitewashed 4-0 in 2011 as England went top of the rankings. Now the hosts are fifth, one place below their opponents.
Nottinghamshire star Broad, who took a hat-trick in both rubbers, thinks England can prevail in the clash of two much-changed teams from three years ago.
“We lost the series against Sri Lanka but we played a lot of good cricket in that series,” he said.
“We did some brilliant stuff with some debut hundreds and that sort of thing. The confidence is good coming into this series.
“Obviously, the last time India were here it was probably the best series we have played for years, but a lot of that team has changed.
“Some players can take some confidence from that, but the majority of players have changed from that series so this is a completely fresh series. We’ve got to restart and go again.”
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