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England v West Indies

Rory Burns dissects Stuart Broad’s domination against opening batsmen

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

England opener Rory Burns has explained why Stuart Broad is such a difficult prospect to face for opening batsmen, and lauded the veteran seamer for being on the cusp of a historic 500th Test wicket.

Broad, who was excluded for the opening Test of the ongoing England-West Indies series, has been a revelation since being included in the two Tests that have followed, shooting up to the top of the series’ wicket charts. He picked up six wickets for 22 runs in just seven overs on the third day of the final Test to put England in a firm position, despite the forecast of a washed-out fourth day.

Burns, speaking to Sky Sports Cricket at the end of the day’s play, dissected his bowling, admitting that the angles that he creates with the new ball tends to rattle openers.

“He is bowling very nicely, isn’t he? The way he is bowling at the minute, particularly to left-handers, makes it a very difficult place up the top of the order.

“The angles he creates makes you feel like you always have to play it as he has the ability to swing the ball and then straighten it up. He can then also come the other way with the leg-cutter which makes it a very difficult challenge.”

Broad, who is one short of becoming just the fourth paceman in history to 500 Test wickets, has been especially lethal against left-handed batsmen from around the wicket, an attribute that came to the fore in the 2019 Ashes, where he dismissed Australia’s David Warner seven times in ten innings.

“Opening the batting is all about controlling the top of your off-stump and knowing where that is and Broady is always challenging that.

“Sib [Dom Sibley] nudged me and said Broad was on 497 and I didn’t realise, so 499 overnight now is a nice place to be for him.

“Those two wickets tonight [in the second innings] were a nice bonus, so hopefully we can push on and take eight wickets, win the series and pop out of the [bio-secure] bubble for a little bit.”

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