Stuart Broad claimed that it was ‘heartbreaking’ for England to be beaten at home after seven years, and reckoned that the loss was down to two factors: the batsmen’s inexperience and the absence of key players. Broad, however, asserted that his side can have no excuses come the India series.
England reached the lowest point of the Chris Silverwood era last week as the Three Lions were handed their first series defeat at home in seven years by a New Zealand side that rested several of its key players. Rain saved England in the first Test at Lord’s, but there was no such rescue in the second Test at Edgbaston as the Kiwis thrashed Joe Root’s men by eight wickets to register a famous series win.
Dissecting the defeat in his column for the Daily Mail, Stuart Broad pinned the blame on the young batsmen. England rested their IPL stars and missed the services of Ben Stokes due to injury, and it meant that they fielded a relatively inexperienced batting line-up. The youngsters failed the test, and Broad reckoned that the 1-0 series defeat highlighted the importance of experience in international cricket.
“Until you have been put under the kind of pressure that is created in international cricket you don’t know how young players will cope and the 1-0 defeat by a team contesting the World Test Championship final this week showed the importance of experience in Tests,” Broad wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“It isn’t just about playing the perfect forward defence, it’s about dealing with pressure, and momentum changes in the game, and an inability to do that was where the series was lost for us.
“When the pressure came on us with the bat in the third innings, we couldn’t soak it up. It wasn’t a technical thing, more a lesson in what top-flight cricket is like.”
Barring Joe Root, the English batting unit comprises batsmen with unorthodox styles, and these batters’ technique, post the match, was lambasted by Nasser Hussain, who tore into the English batsmen for refusing to ‘bat properly’. Broad said he had sympathy for the batters who got their techniques dissected, but insisted that they deserved criticism for playing loose shots that were inexplicable in nature.
“I had sympathy for some of the batsmen when their techniques were being dissected but at the top level you also deserve criticism at times. We drove at balls we didn’t need to drive at, were dismissed in ways that New Zealand planned to dismiss us — falling into traps is actually the most disappointing thing in Test cricket for a batsman.
“Four or five of us did that. It’s heartbreaking to lose a first home Test series in seven years but let’s be realistic — due to schedules, Covid and bubbles, we were a weakened side,” Broad said.
The 34-year-old speedster further said that he understood why key players were rested for the New Zealand series, but attested that the Three Lions can have no excuses come the India Tests.
“We will want our full-strength team on the field against India, in the Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes. If we had our top team against New Zealand, where would we have given players a break?
“However, there will be no excuses when it comes to results from the India series onwards.”