Stuart Broad has said he picked up the art of bowling on Indian pitches by watching ex-India seamer Zaheer Khan after the England speedster produced a fine spell to take four wickets in India’s second innings on Sunday (Nov 20), the penultimate day of the ongoing second Test in Visakhapatnam.
"I remember Zaheer Khan was very good at it, bowling slightly off pace, and then really surprise you with a quick inswinger. That's something Jimmy (Anderson) and I talked about. Try to get batsmen bowl at slightly slow pace, then hit with a quicker pace at the stumps,” Broad told a news conference on Sunday. “Jimmy did that to (Cheteshwar) Pujara. That seems to be the plan and it helped on a wearing pitch.”
Broad dismissed the Indian openers in quick succession with the new ball before sending back Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin with leg-cutters as the hosts were bowled out for 204 in their second innings.
"Leg-cutters probably have been quite a good ball for me probably for three to four years. It helped bowling on an old pitch. I felt the pitch was a bit worn, with a some variable bounce. I was able to use the cutters a bit more. It makes the inswing and reverse swing more dangerous,” Broad said.
Set 405 for victory, England battled to 87 for two at stumps on day four in a bid to save the game and Broad believes the visitors were in with a chance to draw the Test.
"Without doubt yes, everyone believes it can be done. We have got two wickets after 60 overs, and we have got only 90 to go. The key would be to break it down to small partnerships, whether it's 15 minutes or 15 balls. These sort of things, slow the game down and does not feel you're climbing up a mountain,” he said.
"We have had a bad hour and half at the end of day two (since they were 80/5 in the first innings) but since then we have shown a lot of character. Huge credit to everyone involved. For us to stay in the Test match coming into day five from the position on day two is a huge credit.
"It's very easy to throw the towel in but we put a lot of pressure on the Indians taking early wickets and not letting them control the scoring rate particularly. Not letting them declare. And then putting a pretty solid batting later on, giving us a hope tomorrow. There's been a lot of Tests saved with teams going into last day from being two down. That will be our aim, whether you played two Tests or 130-odd (137).
"Our openers showed you can bat on that pitch if you apply yourselves. We are very happy with today. We have given ourselves a great chance. If we can keep it quiet for the first hour and half tomorrow the pressure will only grow on the Indians.
"We know the Indian team will come back tomorrow refreshed and excited and men around the bat but it's all about calming it all down. It's all about slowing the game down in your mind.
"If we can have a quite hour and a half tomorrow morning then the Indian bowlers will be under pressure to take wickets, they will be under pressure to win the game. The pressure will mount on the Indian bowlers, the better we bat in the first hour and half.”
Broad was all praise for young opener Haseeb Hameed, who scored a patient 25 from 144 deliveries in the second innings before falling to Ashwin.
"It was a hugely tough innings, reminded me he got hit first ball, damaged his hand, he didn't show anything. But he calmly went about his business until tea when he got himself strapped up and showed huge amount of courage. Didn't let the bounce change his movements. He looks made for Test cricket, doesn't he?
"Today runs were not on his agenda but he wanted to bat an amount of time that saves a Test. It's sort of cricket I enjoy seeing as a fan. Atherton vs Donald at Trent Bridge. It took a beauty of a ball to get rid of him. Not many would have got it away.
“There's a lot of batting to come in the changing room. If we get two or three batsmen stuck in like the two did today then we will save the Test. It's quite an exciting place to come to on day five where you have got a chance doing something quite special. We have got the characters to do it.
"We know India will be up for the challenge. There will be a lot of appeals and excitement and aggression. If we can match them for that we can give ourselves a very good chance.”