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Batting Genius: The Broad/Trott Show
Two Men Make History
Posted Aug 31, 2010 by Shaun Edwards
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I've written various things about England’s batting weaknesses over the last few weeks, and the legitimate concerns everyone who wants England to triumph in the Ashes this winter should have.
However, sometimes things just happen in test cricket that are beyond such issues, and the batting performance by Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad during the fourth test against Pakistan was exactly that. It was as comprehensive a test performance as I’ve ever seen, and any pair of batsman in history would have been laughing with glee following the extra-ordinary 8th wicket stand of 332 the two men put on.
Trott was a picture of composed batting – operating in a gloriously old school manner that sadly almost seemed out of place in the modern test environment, and consequently reaping the rewards. Whilst the rest of the top order sliced and pulled their way to batting embarrassment, Trott was patient: he waited, and waited and waited, ignoring dangerous deliveries and building up the runs slowly. Then, when Pakistan’s initial blitz had slowed, and the sun had begun to shine, he started revelling in the atmosphere, taking wonderful cover drives, and giving the poor Pakistani bowlers (who looked very out of ideas) quite a hiding.
The other benefit of Trott’s top drawer performance is that it more or less ends the discussions regarding England’s number three – Trott has just permanently landed the job, and I’ll eat my trousers if he doesn’t end up being invaluable down under.
The other plaudits must of course go to Stuart Broad. The young man, whose temperament has already been questioned by many (including myself) must have felt he had a point to prove – and boy did he prove it. His performance (narrowly missing out on the highest eighth wicket score ever) wasn’t the performance of a bowler with raw talent: it was the performance of a man who could comfortably bat at number five. The hammering shots down the ground reminded me of the impudence of a young Flintoff. It was the same swagger, the same confidence, the same ability to perform to a much higher level than anyone that young has a right too. If Broad can perform like that against the Pakistani attack, then there’s no reason that he can’t match it against the Aussies, whose bowling is likely to be inconsistent at the very least.
Yes, England still have batting worries, and yes, their propensity to collapse hasn’t gone away. However, for an afternoon and a morning, these two men lit up the world of test cricket. I hope as many people got to see the stand as possible – it’ll be years before we see anything close to that again.