Stuart Broad believes “the second new ball is going to be quite important” for England in their bid to pull off a final-day victory over West Indies in the second Test at Old Trafford.
England finished day four on 37-2 with a lead of 219 after Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were sent in as openers in search of quick runs. The hosts require victory in order to keep their hopes alive of regaining the Wisden Trophy with West Indies carrying a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Broad led the charge for England with the second new ball in the evening session, taking three wickets as West Indies fell from 242-4 to 287 all out.
Speaking to Sky after the end of play, Broad highlighted the importance of a second new ball – available after 80 overs – for England when they bowl again on Monday.
“We need to set it up in the first 45 minutes, hour tomorrow,” said Broad. “Dream world: we get two new balls because we’ve seen the new ball has behaved slightly different on this pitch and gives bowlers a real chance. We’ve given ourselves a chance of winning this game which is a great position to be in.”
To make use of the second new ball could lead to a quick declaration in the morning, and Broad added that England could be prepared to “sacrifice a few runs” to make use of two new balls in their quest for 10 West Indies wickets.
“We’ve not had those chats of where we want to be runs wise but I think the second new ball is going to be quite important, even if it’s for four, five, six overs. Because if West Indies were seven down, etc, with that second new ball you’d feel like it would give you a real chance. We saw today, with a bit of short-pitched bowling, you can stop the scoring quite quickly with big square boundaries and windy conditions. I think we’d sacrifice a few runs for the chance to have that second new ball, for sure.”