Had Stuart Broad got his way at the toss, his greatest ever moment in an England shirt might never have happened, with the seamer wanting captain Alastair Cook to choose to bat first in the 2015 Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
Luckily for England, Cook ignored the wishes of the right-armer, and Broad claimed 8-15, skittling Australia in a session to virtually win the Test and regain the urn by lunch on day one. Speaking on a Sky Watchalong of the morning’s action, Cook said the decision wasn’t quite as clear cut as it seemed, but that he was “99 per cent certain” he’d made the right call.
“It was a very green wicket but I think it was still quite dry underneath,” he said. “I think there were some cracks showing. It looked an obvious bowl, and I was 99 per cent certain, but trying to convince your senior bowler who was about to open the bowling now that it was a bowl first was a hard thing to do. I’d like to say officially he did want to bat, and thank God we managed to convince him.”
“If there’s any doubt, bat,” responded Broad.
Broad was also swayed by a passing comment from an unlikely source – former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne, who was at the ground commentating on the Test. “I must admit Shane Warne walked past me just before the toss and said ‘this could be a bowl first day’,” said Broad. “And I thought, ‘If that’s come from Shane Warne who could be the most bat-first person in the world, who’s a spinner as well, it could be a bowl’.
Broad claimed two wickets in his first over, and within 19 balls he had his five-for. England went on to win the Test comfortably, and the bowling performance was placed at No.1 in Wisden’s Test spells of the 2010s.