Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Reborn England are ready for a brand new beginning

Chipping in: Stuart Broad took three India wickets for 65 runs
Chipping in: Stuart Broad took three India wickets for 65 runs

Stuart Broad senses a new beginning is under way for him and his England team-mates as they finally free themselves from the hangover of last winter's Ashes whitewash.

Broad (three for 65) and James Anderson (three for 52) had to work especially hard to take six India wickets between them as the tourists closed day three of the third Test on 323 for eight in reply to 569 for seven declared.

But their deserved success, in batting conditions at the Ageas Bowl, is a prime indication to Broad, after some disappointing showings of late, that England are back on track.

A pep talk with coach Peter Moores appears to have done the trick for the pace bowler, who cited the return to form of captain Alastair Cook and a big hundred from Ian Bell as further evidence that the talented core of England's team is firing again.

"I think maybe the (senior) players have put too much pressure on themselves – since the Durham Test (last summer), it has been a pretty tough run," he said.

"Maybe we got a bit uptight.

"Before this Test match, Mooresy came to a few of us and said 'just go and express yourself – don't worry about having to take responsibility... just go and play, like it's your first Test match'.

"I think that's shone through."

Cook and Bell, along with another century from Gary Ballance, helped England pile up the runs before the bowlers got to work.

"Cookie and Belly played fantastically with the bat, and Jimmy and I have contributed with the ball," added Broad.

"Everyone was having a laugh, with smiles on their faces, and I think that showed in our cricket.

"We kept the energy up throughout the whole day. We were brilliant."

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