Three successive Ashes series successes from 2009 to 2013 were glory years for the Nottinghamshire-born all-rounder. But now England are looking to bounce back from a 5-0 whitewash in the last series two years ago. After crashing out of the World Cup at the group stages this year, watching Australia go on to win the world title has tempered expectation, but Broad believes new team talent is bringing a fresh outlook.
THE RED BULLETIN: It’s been a tough couple of years. Does this year’s Ashes series offer a chance for redemption?
STUART BROAD: If we’re honest, since we won in England in summer 2013, the Australians have been better than us. It’s a huge chance for us in a bit of a rebuilding period for English cricket to play Australia at home and win back the ashes. As an athlete you learn how to cope with bad times. You realise that if you work hard, things change, the good days come.
What can we expect from England this summer?
Australia will come over as favourites, but there’s a lot of steely desire to take those Ashes back and to play the style of cricket that we want to play: on the front foot, aggressive. Of course you’ve got to do the dirty work in test match cricket, but you need to have the players who can change the momentum of games and add some excitement, pushing games forward. I think we’re really getting those sort of players within our side now.
You’re a well-travelled 28 now, one of the most experienced in the squad. Has your role changed?
I’m sixth on the leading wicket-taker list, same as Jimmy (Anderson) who’s still playing ahead of me, so I have been around a long time. I’ve always been one who talks in team meetings and that’s important. Player-led teams are the ones that succeed, I think.
You’ve grown up in the spotlight. How have you coped with media glare?
Since I’ve started the whole media world has changed. Now with twitter and all these social media things, everyone can share their opinion 24/7. On the positive side, I think it developed me as a cricketer really quickly because it’s brutal, there’s no hiding place. But you have to be strong-willed if you’ve had a tough day not to click on Twitter – it doesn’t do you any good.
Can winning ever feel as good as the first time?
Yes. We’ve been written off by quite a few people, but having been around the set-up and around this group, I know deep down we’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of character, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we put in some fantastic performances. We’re ready.