Veteran England pacer Stuart Broad on Sunday said the team is willing to do every single thing which can help them chase down 277 on day four of first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
On a see-saw third day, Joe Root remained unbeaten on 77 while captain Ben Stokes made a vital 54 to leave England 61 runs away from winning the match and taking a 1-0 lead in three-match series.
“If victory can be secured on Sunday it would cap what has been a fantastic Test match for so many reasons. There can be no one who’s come to watch this game over the last three days who would leave disappointed with what they have seen. It has been a match with a bit of everything and it’s up to us to do everything we can to get over the line by scoring those 61 runs required," wrote Broad in his Daily Mail column.
Root, the former Test captain, stitched a stand of 90 runs with Stokes and when stumps arrived on day three, he had created an unbroken 57-run partnership with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, enough to leave Broad with a good feeling related to Root’s assured batting ahead of day four’s play.
“I’ve got a really good feeling about things as Joe Root is one of the calmest players going and England’s best ever batsmen. He’s a situation player, isn’t he? I think it really suits him when a situation is laid out for him and he’s got a target to chase. Don’t get me wrong, he’s played some incredible knocks in the first innings of Test matches.
“But, for me, he’s at his best when the game is on the line — and that’s always a sign of a world-class player. Not that he will be alone. This morning is a time for a number of us to show our characters if and when required."
In turning the match in England’s favour, Broad played a huge role, triggering a collapse which saw New Zealand go from 251/5 to 285 all out. In his third over, Broad took out Daryl Mitchell for 108, then Colin de Grandhomme was run out for a duck, before Kyle Jaimeson was clean bowled in the same over.
“Personally, my performance in helping the team get back into this topsy-turvy Test was right up there for me. I said I wanted to give my heart and soul to playing for England this summer, treating it as a fresh start despite being in my mid-30s with 15 years of experience.
“Going to bed on Friday night, it felt like we might have let the game get a bit too far away from us so to hit back with six wickets for 49 runs gave us a fighting chance. We knew we had to strike with the new ball because the destiny of the contest was riding on it," concluded Broad.