07/07/2022

Matthew Potts is set to make his England debut at Lords this week, but even the last sewage out of Durham’s impressive production line will do well to match Stewart Broad’s level of excitement.

Whether it’s missing out in the Caribbean, new leadership in the form of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCollum, or simply the lovable glow of Nottingham Forest reaching the Premier League for the first time in 23 years, Broad has described himself as a “bird”. Before Thursday’s opening match against New Zealand.

Broad, 35, with his old New Ball partner Jimmy Anderson also back in the saddle, has credited Nottinghamshire sports psychologist Chris Marshall for making him think only in the short term. This approach is one for England in general, and in Broad’s case, it ignores broader questions about his longevity and possible retirement date.

“There is no doubt that I missed it when the team was in the West Indies,” Broad said ahead of Tuesday’s rainless training session in England. “It just makes you realize that these jobs don’t last forever, you have to take advantage of them and enjoy them. The moment I stop enjoying or lose that competitive spirit, I won’t be the fast bowler that I am now, there is no doubt about that.

“I worked with her a lot [Marshall] Rather than seeing summer as ‘I hope I’m fit for the Test Series 2 against South Africa’ – and life doesn’t work that way – it’s great to be ‘so grateful for what I got this week and give it to’ my heart and soul. There’s almost a streak in the sand to get to every Test match like I’ve never played it before, but with the luxury of playing 150 weird Test matches to put my mind at ease.

“If you’re stiff and sore next week, we’ll deal with that afterwards. And if I don’t want to take a second test or give them a fresh bowling experience, that’s great. It’s all about the England shirt and the environment; the results come on their own.”

Indeed, fresh blood immediately flows with Potts expected to win the bid before Craig Overton. That means a long tail – perhaps even Jack Leach is eighth – but after watching the 23-year-old burn to 35 wickets with Durham this season, Stokes appears eager to give the newcomer one fresh challenge for Zeeland to beat the winning team. 1-0 in the series here 12 months ago.

“I’ve never seen a Boots ball,” Brod said [in person] The day before yesterday. It’s really exciting, he deserves his chance. He looks strong and powerful, shoots with a good rhythm and balls take the wicket. I see this week when he plays the lead in his first test.

“He put in a great performance for Durham, but playing for England at Lords and hopefully a full house at the weekend is a different style of cricket. Hopefully with Jamie and my experience we can help.”

Stuart Broad and James Anderson returned to England to take the Lord’s Test. Photo: Philip Brown/Getty Images

It remains to be seen if there will be a full house, with thousands of unsold tickets and debate over pricing – mainly between £100 and £160 – raging this week. Broad noted the uniqueness of the anniversary holiday, but also acknowledged that pricing may need to be reconsidered more broadly given the current economic climate.

The right arm also insisted that England’s style of cricket, not just results, is key to attracting fans and that early messages from Stokes and McCullum are to make positive choices wherever possible. For bowlers, Broad said, requests should focus on taking the wicket rather than worrying about run rate, something that Joe Root, the former captain, might give an unbalanced smile after trying to do the same.

However, there is an injury crisis among the commentators, with Jofra Archer, Sakib Mahmood, and Matt Fisher missing for the summer due to lumbar stress fractures. Mark Wood and Olly Stone are not yet back after elbow and back surgeries respectively, while Olly Robinson and Chris Woks still struggle with winter issues.

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Broad attributes his impressive fitness record to the number of serves he sent as a younger man and sees his former Nottinghamshire teammate Luke Wood as the beneficiary of the absence. The left-handed Lancashire native received his first England call-up as part of the squad that played three ODI games in the Netherlands from 17 June, a first under white ball coach Matthew Mott.

England ODI Team meets Netherlands: Owen Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jose Butler, Brydon Kars, Sam Curran, Liam Livingston, David Malan, David Payne, Adel Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Rhys Tubli, David Wylie, Luke Wood