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England shaping up well ahead of battle for Ashes: Broad

 

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Stuart Broad believes England are ready to hit their peak just in time for the Ashes. Joe Root's side travel to Australia later this year looking to retain the urn on the back of series victories over South Africa and West Indies this summer.

Broad, who won't play until the Ashes itinerary to rest a heel injury, played his part in those wins and has now amassed 109 Test caps for England.

The 31-year-old feels the team, after coming under scrutiny at times this year with question marks still hanging over the make up of the batting line-up, are ready to hit the heights in Australia.

"This is our time as a team, we have been building to this for a while," he said. "We've got experienced players, but now we have those mid-experienced players up at 35, 40, 45 Tests, and that is when you begin to learn how to get your team out of trouble or put your foot on the throat."

Broad singled out captain Root and talisman Ben Stokes for individual praise.

"It is hard not to be (optimistic)," he said. "We've got Joe Root, and every time he walks on the field he gets a 50. Stokesy is very exciting.

"Rocky (Mark Stoneman) plays a simplistic game, which suits the Australian pitches."

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