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Pa
May 13, 2021

England still on verge of ‘something special’: Broad

P
Pa
May 13, 2021

LONDON: Stuart Broad believes the odds were stacked against England in their bid to reach the World Test Championship final, but senses they are still on the cusp of “something pretty special” in the coming months.

Joe Root’s side finished fourth in the format’s inaugural league table, with India and New Zealand taking the top two places to qualify for next month’s showpiece at the Ageas Bowl.

Placings were decided on a points percentage after the onset of coronavirus disrupted the global schedule, with 120 points available per series regardless of the number of matches.

England were comfortably the busiest of the nine teams with 21 ranking Tests in the period – 10 more than the Black Caps and four more than India. Bottom-placed Bangladesh played just seven.

“The World Test Championship is a really good concept, I just don’t think it’s quite right yet. It’s a first-time effort,” Broad told PA news agency.

“I can’t quite work out how a five-match Ashes series can be worth the same as India playing Bangladesh for two Tests. There’s something in the idea and it has given great context to the game but there needs to be work done on how it all comes together, I think.

“We had an opportunity, but the amount of cricket we play as an England side in the current system makes it very difficult to get into the final.”

Although England will be on the outside looking in when the first ever Test champions are crowned in Southampton, they are playing both finalists in bilateral series either side of the event.

New Zealand are up first, visiting Lord’s and Edgbaston in June, before five matches against Virat Kohli and company starting in August. With an Ashes tour also on way this winter, Broad reckons there is a big opportunity for the current team to make a major statement.

“It’s a very exciting year and we are in a really exciting place as a team,” he said at a NatWest CricketForce event.

“In another year, 18 months I would expect this team to be at its absolute peak and I think the Australian battle is going to be very exciting. In Australia you’ve got to go and get 500 first-innings runs and we’re building a batting line-up that look ready to do that.”