Stuart Broad rejoices in ‘dream world’ of England’s transformative morning | England cricket team
Stuart Broad described the opening hour and a half on day three of the Opening Test, in which England severed the 195-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell and tore up the lower order of New Zealand, as “an absolute dream world – couldn’t have done better” – and his side know that if they start day four in the same style it will almost certainly end in victory.
England have 61 runs after securing a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series, with five wickets in hand, a second new ball still at 15 overs and Joe Root, unbeaten on 77, once again in a convincing form. “It would cap off a fantastic test match,” Broad said. “It’s up to us as a group of players to do everything we can to get over the line, and that would be very special. I have a very good feeling for tomorrow.
A single broad over transformed England’s chances in the game, with Mitchell, Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson dismissed successive deliveries from 251 for four, the tourists were eventually eliminated for 285. “It was huge . We knew we had to hit the new ball because the test match was rolling on it,” Broad said.
But the 35-year-old admitted he had ‘absolutely no idea’ what was going on as De Grandhomme was sent off by Ollie Pope’s direct hit, while the bowler faced the running referee “one of the worst calls ever”.
Having since seen replays of the incident, he said it was proof of a transformed team. “I don’t know what has changed, but I think our accuracy with our shots on the pitch and our lineup in general has been outstanding, and it just shows what a group of players can do with a mindset. attacking on the pitch,” he said. . “Because it snatched a wicket from us, and it shows how crucial that sort of thing is in Test cricket.”
Broad also missed one of the day’s other crucial moments, also involving De Grandhomme, who beat Ben Stokes with what turned out to be a forward ball step while the England captain – who scored a half- century – was on a . “There was a lot of energy. I can’t minimize that,” Broad said. “Of course it gives the whole dressing room a boost. We’ve been upside down from this a few times over the past two years, and it hurts.
With the morning sessions over the three days played so far in this Test with six, six and seven wickets, England know they remain far from the finish line. “It’s great to come in tomorrow knowing either team could win,” Broad said. “In the locker room, you’re constantly saying, ‘That’s a big hour, that one.’ Tomorrow, this first hour, with Rooty and Foakesy [Ben Foakes] there is going to be crucial.
New Zealand may be a marginal outsider, but they know they are about to expose the most jagged extremes of England’s tail. Mitchell said: “Hopefully we can go tomorrow and it goes like the last three mornings and we give ourselves the opportunity to win a test match. We know we are literally one wicket away from going into their bowlers, so for us, just show up with a smile on our face and lots of energy and we’ll see what happens.
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