Veteran England pacer Stuart Broad has unveiled a surprising strategy that played a pivotal role in supporting his teammate, Ben Stokes in the second Ashes 2023 Test in Headingley. Broad’s unconventional tactics involved engaging in confrontations with Australian cricketers to divert their attention away from the England captain, allowing Stokes to concentrate on his performance on Day 5.
Stokes, reminiscent of his awe-inspiring display at Headingley in 2019, showcased his remarkable skills once again under intense pressure. Following the controversial run-out of Jonny Bairstow, Stokes found himself partnering with tail-ender Broad, who had struggled to produce significant scores in Test cricket since 2018. It was at this critical juncture that Stokes decided to launch a counter-attack.
With England requiring 179 runs for victory, Stokes embarked on a breathtaking onslaught, particularly during a single over bowled by Cameron Green. Stokes hammered 23 runs off that over, including three consecutive sixes, propelling him to his 13th Test century. The partnership between Stokes and Broad flourished, reaching 108 runs for the eighth wicket and posing a significant threat to the Australian team.
However, despite Stokes’ heroics, the English lower-order failed to sustain the momentum after his dismissal. The Australian bowlers swiftly dismantled the remaining batsmen, securing a hard-fought 43-run victory for Australia and establishing a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2023 Ashes series.
“Sometimes I just like to get in a little battle for myself. I knew that it was such an important moment of that game at Lord’s and I needed to make sure I was mentally switched on and able to do a job for Ben Stokes at the other end,” Broad told Sky Sports.
“Part of my strategy was to pick a fight with a couple of Australians so I wouldn’t be focusing on too much technique. I would just be focusing on the ball and making sure I could stay there,” he added.