Broad: We can cope with Johnson


Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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Stuart Broad is confident England can handle Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson during this summer’s Ashes.

Johnson wreaked havoc during the previous series Down Under 18 months ago, claiming 37 wickets as Michael Clarke’s Aussies romped to a 5-0 victory.

But ahead of the first Investec Test, which begins in Cardiff next week, England bowler Broad said: “Mitchell had an incredible series in Australia and we’ll have to play him a lot better on these shores.

“But the conditions are different here and we have a lot of talented guys who have scored a lot of runs in England, so I’d expect us to cope with him a lot better.

“We know how Michael Clarke will use him, in four-over bursts before lunch, just after lunch, before tea, to try to make breakthroughs at key times. What’s important is for us to recognise those key moments and be talented enough to win them.

“Its about taking our chances, having a game plan to stick to, and not worrying about Australia. It’s about the players in your team playing to the best of their ability, knowing when it’s your chance and taking it with both hands.

“Australia did that in Australia, but in the three previous series England have done that and it’s up to us to do it again.”

Broad recently caused a stir in the Australia camp by claiming Steven Smith, currently the world’s top-ranked batsman, could struggle ba tting at number three.

Touring coach Darren Lehmann predictably gave that theory short shrift but Broad remains convinced Smith’s move up the order could play into England’s hands.

“I didn’t say Steven Smith was a vulnerability at three, I said at five he doesn’t have too many weaknesses. He’s in fantastic form,” said Broad.

“But at three it gives us more of an opportunity to bowl at him with a harder ball. With the new Duke ball you get a bit of movement, so bowling at him with a hard ball rather than one which is 50 overs old is a slight advantage for us as a team. But I’m certainly not questioning his ability.”

Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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