x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Stuart Broad does the hard yards

The England fast bowler takes four ICC Combined XI wickets on return from injury but realises it is going to be challenge to bowl on UAE wickets.

Stuart Broad, arm raised, covered 16 kilometres and in the process took four ICC Combined XI wickets in Dubai on Saturday.
Stuart Broad, arm raised, covered 16 kilometres and in the process took four ICC Combined XI wickets in Dubai on Saturday.

DUBAI // England's bowlers did not just have sore limbs to inform them of how much hard work is going to be required to take wickets on the docile pitches of the UAE after their first day of tour on Saturday.

Test cricket's top Test team had their every move monitored by global position system equipment during the opening day of their warm-up match against the International Cricket Council Combined XI at the Global Cricket Academy.

According to the information returned from the GPS vests the players were wearing, Stuart Broad, the fit-again fast bowler, got through the most work.

In return for the 16kms he covered, Broad earned four wickets, which represented a positive come back in his first game since he ruptured a muscle in his shoulder against India in September.

Broad made rapid incisions with the new ball on a dewy morning, reducing the composite XI to 10 for three in the process.

The fact the ICC side then rallied to 281 was proof that conditions on these pitches can turn benign swiftly.

Broad acknowledged that he and his fellow bowlers had learnt a valuable lesson ahead of the bigger tests to come in the series against Pakistan.

"The conditions have been great, because I think they are similar to what we will face in the Test matches," he said.

"It is going to be crucial for us in the Test match series to use the new ball and the second new ball wisely.

"That period, from overs 50 to 80, is going to be a real holding role. We are not going to be able to burst through because the wickets are not going to be suited to that.

"We got the ball reverse [swinging] a tiny bit today, but the pitch had gone slow by then so it was hard to burst through the defences."

pradley@thenational.ae


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