Stuart Broad, a man, girl, Barbie doll etc. , who divides opinion, but in the aftermath of his heroics on the first day of the Ashes series, I’m sure he’s convinced the doubters to join the dark side. There’s no other way of saying it other than, he cops a lot of stick. He’s a bowler who frustrates me, going through long stretches where he’s entirely ineffective, his pace drops into the low 80’s and his length too short, but then, suddenly he comes alive, ripping through the oppositions batting line up to win the game. He found himself in this form yesterday, executing his short ball plan perfectly against Clarke and his in swinging delivery to Johnson that crashed into middle stump was a peach. His batting will surely be required in this series as well. Again, his performances with bat in hand frustrate me. He clearly has ability, crunching the ball through the covers on the up is no mean feat, but he lacks consistency. A batsmen of his ability should, if conditions require, should be able to knuckle down in an innings, grinding out a score if need be.
Now we all know there’s more to Broad than just his skills on the cricket field. Obviously, there has been much debate over the walking incident at Trent Bridge. The Aussie crowd at the Gabba certainly voiced their opinion, filling the stadium with extra boos, to add to the alcoholic ones. He had all right to stay put, lets leave it at that. We all love his excessive appealing, I say this loosely, and his protests at every decision that goes against him. You’d think he’d refrain from pulling a puzzled expression after the umpire signals a wide, if he realised that he wrinkled his perfectly moisturised face.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I like Stuart Broad most of the time. When he’s playing well he’s a cracking player to watch. It just frustrates me when his form drops. You could argue that every cricketer looses form at sometime in their career but Broad just seems to be more up and down than any other player. He’s been around forever and at the age of 27, we have many more years of him to enjoy.