Stuart Broad’s experiment to adopt Australian great Shane Warne’s stance at the crease paid off on Saturday as he smashed a quickfire half century for England on the second day of the final test against West Indies on Saturday.
Peter Moores, his former England coach and current mentor at Nottinghamshire, suggested a technical tweak to his game when he was up against fast bowlers and that new approach was in full display at Old Trafford.
Broad scored the joint third fastest test 50 for England off just 33 balls as he helped England to fight back after West Indies had gained the early momentum by grabbing four wickets in the first hour.
The 34-year-old was eventually dismissed for 62 after helping England to a first innings total of 369.
Ian Botham is the only England player to have scored quicker test 50s — having done so off 28 and 31 balls. Broad matched the feats of Allan Lamb and Andrew Flintoff.
“They were quite important runs. It was about changing the momentum of the innings. West Indies bowled beautifully this morning and I think if I had gone out there and tried to play regulation I think there was a ball with my name on it,” Broad told a news conference.
“I tried to up the momentum, hit the bowlers off a length and try and take Kemar (Roach) and Shannon (Gabriel) away from what they’d done so well in the first 40 minutes.
“Tactically it was the right thing to do and something I’ve worked on with Peter Moores at Nottinghamshire. He brought me the example of Shane Warne who didn’t look particularly pretty at times but hit balls in different areas and was really effective, especially in the 2005 Ashes.”
Leg spinner Warne was one of cricket’s greatest bowlers, but he was often a major irritant to opponents with the bat as he notched up 12 test 50s.
Broad said the idea was to stay leg side to eliminate the possibility of being trapped lbw and then back his ability to hit the straight ball.
“There was a little bit of thought process in the madness, but I did enjoy myself out there,” he said.
Broad also contributed with the ball on Saturday to put England in a strong position with the tourists 137-6 when bad light stopped play, trailing by 232 runs.
“We’ve given ourselves a great opportunity. Our number one aim tomorrow has to be to try and bowl them out so that we have the option of a follow-on,” Broad added.