Quicks will have to accept being rested during India series, says Broad
Broad and James Anderson have both proved their return to fitness ahead of the first Test at Edgbaston.
Stuart Broad accepts he is far from certain to play all five Tests against India as England make contingencies for an exacting schedule over the next six weeks.
The Specsavers series may contain up to 25 days of gruelling action, with the pace bowlers most likely to feel the heat, especially if temperatures continue to soar in what has already been one of England’s driest summers on record.
Broad and all-time national leading wicket-taker James Anderson both proved their return to fitness by coming through last week’s round of county championship matches.
But he has revealed pre-series discussions with management which have covered the possibility of rotating the pace personnel.
As he prepares for his 119th Test, and England’s 1,000th, at Edgbaston on Wednesday, Broad spelled out he will take it on the chin if prescribed rest at some point.
He said: “I think there has already been small conversations saying about, ‘Don’t be disheartened if you are left out for a Test match, it’s not a personal attack or dropping, it’s a management of your bowlers to make sure we give ourselves the best chance’.
“It’s only natural to expect small changes throughout five Test matches, but the bowlers have to be able to take it.”
Broad was troubled by a recurrence of pain in his ankle before his return for Nottinghamshire and veteran Anderson took time out to rest his sore right shoulder.
As for any seamers needing another brief break, Broad added: “I think we will have to play that by ear – it will depend on tosses, pitches, workloads.
“If (there are) two Tests of 250 overs in the field each, it’s unrealistic to think your seam bowlers will play five Tests in six weeks.
“But if you have a Test where you bowl them out in 80, 60 overs, that changes your thinking.”
He was reassured when he came through 19 overs with no ill-effects in an innings defeat at home to table-toppers Surrey.
“I had no pain after the game,” he said.
“I am going in (to this series) 100 per cent fit and you can’t day that too often, so it’s an exciting place to be.”
Broad cannot be so certain, though, about England having conditions to their liking as the heatwave promises a home from home for India instead.
He added: “We have the advantage of home conditions – or how ‘home’ they will be is debatable.
“At Trent Bridge (last week), we tried to leave a bit of moisture in the pitch and it dried out within two-and-a-half hours.
“But we still (have) our home crowd, home grounds, so we do have that advantage.”
Series victory over India will be highly-prized and, as for his own challenge of bowling to Virat Kohli et al, Broad will be keeping it simple.
“The history of Test cricket will suggest that if you hold the top of off-stump longer than anyone else you’ll have success,” he said.
“So in England particularly, it’s about owning the off-stump.
“I really don’t agree with theories that one particular bowler might be able to target a certain batter.
“I think with a world-class batsman, you’ve got to create that atmosphere and theatre from both ends to add pressure and that’s when you get the mistakes.”
– Stuart Broad was speaking at the launch of ‘The Test Experts’ Specsavers as Official Test Partner for England before the 1000th Test, which begins at Edgbaston on August 1.