Stuart Board is of the opinion that the first Test at the Gabba, Brisbane, beginning December 8, holds key to the Ashes 2021-22 series, given Australia's good record on the venue. The speedster looks forward to win the battle against David Warner, much like he had done during the 2019 home series.
The Ashes 2021-22 is scheduled to start on December 8 at The Gabba, Brisbane. Australia have a very impressive record at the venue, having won 40 of the 63 Tests, while losing just nine. Their defeat to India at the start of the year, was their first at the venue in 32 years.
Stuart Broad, the experienced England speedster, believes that the series opener could be the determinant match in the five-match series.
"We need our sole focus to be exceptional for Brisbane," Broad said during a #Funds4Runs event in Leyton. "The Gabba holds the key to the series, because they've got a good record there. Admittedly they lost to India, but we need to start the series well, and make sure that we're 100% on the money at Brisbane, because we can put this Australia team under pressure on the field, and off the field, if we do our job really well to start. We'll be very well prepared for that."
Broad will head to the tour after having recovered from a calf injury, which had kept him out for a major part of the home series against India. The right-arm quick stated that he's mentally fresh and all geared up for the all important tour.
"The old sports saying is try and find the positive in everything," he said. "My positive is that this has allowed me to have a training period where I'm not constantly thinking 'I've got to bowl in three days' time'. I can actually train, and adapt my body really well. The Aussies haven't played for a great deal of time, a lot of our guys are playing T20 cricket, some guys haven't played since September, so I don't feel like I'm behind the eight-ball at all. I actually feel like I'm approaching the series mentally fresh, and ready to hit the ground running.
“The rehab team at the ECB have been great, and got me back feeling really strong and fit. I knew it was a bad calf tear but it was a clean one. It took at least two weeks to be able to put any sort of weight through my foot, and it was probably harder for my fiancée Molly than me because I couldn't even get a cup of tea.
"But I did 7000 steps a day in the pool, listening to Stephen Fry talk about Sherlock Holmes on an audio book, and it's got my muscle moving again, and new soft tissue growing, which I'm training to be as robust as it possibly can."
One of the highlights of the 2019 Ashes series, which Australia had retained with a 2-2 draw, was Broad's contest against David Warner, which he won hands down, dismissing the left-hander seven times out of 10. He looks forward to the battle yet again, and acknowleded that Warner is a key batter for Australia.
"As an opening bowler you're always targeting the opening batters and the top four, and Warner is a key part of that in Australia," Broad said. "But it's going to be a fascinating series, in the fact that no-one's really played any cricket. I don't see how anyone will be going into it in great form, so that means that, as a bowler, we should be really positive about exposing weaknesses if we're relentless."