India vs England 2016: Stuart Broad excited to play his 100th Test match in India
It has been more than 139 years since Test cricket began its journey. However, only 64 players in the game’s history have managed to complete 100 Tests which shows the demanding and unrelenting nature of the traditional format. England seamer Stuart Broad will join the exclusive club when he takes the field during the series opener against India at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on Wednesday.
The 30-year old is well aware that his milestone Test is shaping up to be among the toughest of his career so far. In the absence of England’s leading wicket-taker of all time, he has to shoulder the responsibility as his side’s senior most bowler on conditions which are often unforgiving for the quicker men. However, the Nottinghamshire cricketer is not the one to shy away from challenges.
Eager to make his 100th match memorable, Broad enthused, “Yeah, obviously I am aware how special an achievement it is because of the players that have come before me. The amount they have given to English cricket, it's a special cap to receive. Actually, I think, what excites me more is this (100th game) being the start of a huge series for us as well.”
He elaborated, “There is no bigger occasion than starting a series in India, against a number 1 team in the world. It's great to get a milestone being in such an important game because we know how vital it is to start these tours well. I think we are coming as massive underdogs, there's no doubt about that. But it's pretty exciting as well, we're not really sure what to expect. Obviously, the South African series here this time last year was a pretty low scoring one. But in the New Zealand series, there were some runs scored.”
Since January 2013, India have played 13 Tests at home and won 12 of them with the remaining one ending in a rain-affected draw. Incidentally, England were the last side to defeat them on Indian soil during the course of their 2-1 victory during the 2012 series. But, the odds are stacked heavily against them this time around considering the lack of experience in their camp. Apart from skipper Alastair Cook and Broad, none of the others have completed 50 Tests.
To make matters worse, their spearhead James Anderson will not be available for the first Test and remains doubtful for the subsequent matches as well. Despite pitches not conducive for conventional swing, his ability to generate reverse was labelled as ‘the difference between the two teams’ by the then Indian skipper MS Dhoni upon the completion of the 2012 series.
Broad admitted, “When Jimmy (Anderson) is not in the side, I find it a bit more forceful with the communication – make sure the bowling unit is sharing as much as possible because if you go quiet as a bowling unit, you are not working together and it is much harder to get those 10 wickets in an innings. I think our team has always taken for granted that Jimmy and I always talk. So, when Jimmy is not in the team, we make sure we are sharing information a lot more.”