CRICKET: THE ASHES
wasted opportunities rubbed salt into the wounds. Broad, who took the new ball and then flattened the Aussie openers’ stumps, only to be pulled up by the third umpire, said: “It’s frustrating – I’m not a no-ball bowler.
“I’ve bowled more today than I have done in almost all my other matches – it’s not really an issue for me.
“Part of that might be that it’s the first chance we’ve had to bowl in Ashes’ cricket – maybe we are pushing too hard.
“A few of us were getting too close to the line.
“There’s no excuse for bowling no balls.”
Broad wasn’t on his own.
Jonny Bairstow was another culprit against skipper Pat
Cummins (right) side – behind the stumps, dropping a catch and missing a stumping as
England undid their work on the first day.
It allowed Australia’s middle order to grab the initiative – leaving them just 82 runs behind with five wickets intact, including that of Khawaja.
Nevertheless, the response from the home camp was upbeat with both coach Paul Collingwood and Broad singing from the same positive hymnsheet.
Collingwood said: “It was frustrating. “If we had taken those chances we’d be half-an-inch from taking all their wickets, so we weren’t that far away.
“But we are still in a magnificent position in this game.
“We’re 80-odd runs ahead and that wicket isn’t going to get any better as the game goes on. We’ve got a different style. We’re more aggressive. We knew that was the way we were going to play.
“Sometimes, it’s difficult to break teams down when the wicket is that sluggish. But we created chances.
“And that bowling unit has taken 20 wickets on slow pitches during the past year. We’ll regroup, recharge and come back with a newish ball. It’s exciting when the opposition gets towards your total and this wicket won’t improve.”
Broad added: “It’s such a slow surface. It zaps the energy from the ball. It’s difficult to create a mistake.
“But it can change in a day. The conditions keep evolving – but ultimately after two days of an eagerly-awaited Test we are delighted with where we are.”
Khawaja, who was the beneficiary of Broad overstepping the mark, was especially pleased after taking some flak from the Birmingham punters – taking a sideswipe at England’s ‘Bazball’ approach in the process.
He said: “I was sprayed by the crowd as I was walking out there today – they were saying that I couldn’t score runs in England.
“Not that I have a point to prove, but it was nice to go out there, score some and prove that the last 10 years haven’t been a fluke.
“It’s hard not to get carried away by what England have done. The way they batted was really entertaining. It’s great to watch, I understand why people enjoy it.
“But it doesn’t matter how you win. It’s all about winning. By the end of this Test match, no-one will care how you won, whether you scored at sixan-over, or three.”