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Ashes 2019 | 'Reception at Edgbaston Will be Tasty' - Broad Warns Australia

Cricketnext Staff |July 30, 2019, 8:37 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | 'Reception at Edgbaston Will be Tasty' - Broad Warns Australia

England paceman Stuart Broad has warned Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to expect a "tasty" reception at Edgbaston when the two teams come face to face for the first Test of the Ashes series, starting on August 1 (Thursday).

Edgbaston is perhaps the most hostile ground in England and the hosts have not lost in any format at this venue since 2014. This will be Smith, Warner and Bancroft's first Test ever since last year's Cape Town controversy and the trio will be greeted with a fair share of booing and cat-calls.

"Edgbaston will be tasty won’t it? I think you use it," Broad told cricket.com.au.

"I think they’d be wrong not to prepare and expect, certainly the Birmingham, Old Trafford and Headingley crowds to be quite lively. I think the atmosphere somewhere like Birmingham is just naturally brilliant.

"The crowd come to see England try and win but have an amazing time with it. Look, Warner and Smith have played in front of many a big crowd and have had to warm to much abuse over their careers.

"I’m sure the Barmy Army will make them slightly nervous because they are an intimidating unit, but I don’t think it will affect their performances."

Broad however is "really delighted" that Smith and Warner are part of the Ashes series as it will make things more competitive.

"I think Smith and Warner have been through a hellish last year for making a silly mistake. But a year’s punishment is pretty brutal, isn’t it? They’ve served their time, their punishment and I think the Ashes is a better prospect and series with both those two playing," said the 33-year-old.

"They’re two world-class players, two great competitors, two guys I’ve had brilliant battles with over a decent period of time, so I’m really delighted that they’ll be involved in the Ashes series. I think it makes the game a better spectacle with those two there."

Broad, who will be playing in his seventh Ashes and looking for his fifth win, said England will look to build on the momentum that they have managed to gain from winning the World Cup for the first time.

"I think this is the biggest one I’ve been involved in. I think using the momentum that cricket has gathered from the World Cup victory, this is a real chance for the England team to carry on the brilliant form the white-ball boys have shown and make this country proud of us.

"The 2005 series was obviously very memorable for me as a non-player and then I’ve been involved in home series ever since and had some brilliant memories from all of those – 2009 at The Oval, 2013 at Durham then the 8-15 at Trent Bridge. All series of Ashes cricket in England hold very special memories for me and hopefully this will be the same."

England were smashed 4-0 in Australia in 2017-18 and Broad said his team couldn't get the combination right in the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes who was unavailable for selection after his involvement in a late-night brawl in Bristol.

Stokes had an outstanding World Cup and was Player of the Match in the finale against New Zealand. Broad said Stokes is a "momentum changer" and will be eager to perform in the five-match series.

"You look back to that winter – pretty much the whole balance of our team disappeared without Stokesy. So we were just chasing our tail from there really. He’ll be very hungry, yes.

"A lot of people talk about Stokesy’s numbers a lot of the time – and his numbers aren’t amazingly world-class are they? But I couldn’t really care less how many hundreds Ben Stokes scores, how many five-fers the bloke gets. He’s a momentum changer of the game. So he can bowl 12 overs, (take) 2-48, but those two wickets are when nothing was happening in the game and we were in trouble or whatever.

"He might get 40 off 30 balls or something that completely flips the momentum of the game. I think he’s a worse player when he tries to take too much responsibility trying to lead the batting group. That’s Joe Root’s responsibility, the openers’ responsibility.

"Stokesy’s got to be left to change the momentum of games and he’s brilliant when he’s got that freedom of play. And I think Ashes series bring out the best in those sorts of players.

"I see myself as a momentum changer – I don’t care about getting 20 not out. I prefer to try and change the momentum grabbing the ball, trying to get one wicket rather than looking after my figures and getting five for 60. I like that feeling of tweaking a game’s momentum and I think Stokesy’s at his best when doing that."

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