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Michael Vaughan criticism ‘a bit unfair’ – Stuart Broad

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Stuart Broad, who returned 3-38 in the first innings of the Headingley Test against Pakistan, admitted to being upset by Michael Vaughan’s criticism before the game but said he held no grudges.

Broad teamed up with James Anderson (3-43) and Chris Woakes (3-55) to make short work of Pakistan in the first innings, dismissing the visitors for 174. England, courtesy a 53-run opening stand between Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings and a 51-run second-wicket partnership between Cook and captain Joe Root, reached 106-2 at stumps on day one.

Broad, 31, had been criticised from several quarters after a lacklustre performance in the first Test at Lord’s, which England lost by nine wickets. Most prominently among the critics was former England captain Michael Vaughan, who had asked for either Broad or Anderson to be dropped from the side for the second and final Test.

Vaughan had asked for Broad or Anderson to be dropped from the second Test

“I’ve come under criticism a lot in my career and a lot of it has been justified. You get used to it,” Broad said. “I thought it (Vaughan’s criticism) was a bit unfair and a bit targeted. It did put me under a bit more pressure this week, certainly going into this game, but part and parcel of our job is to deliver under pressure.”

Broad said that he had called up Vaughan to express his disappointment at the comments but also made it clear he held no personal grudge against his former captain.

“So I called him and expressed my disappointment in his comments. I’m not going to hold a personal grudge — I’m friends with Vaughany,” said Broad. “He was a fantastic captain to me, he gave me a great opportunity and he’s great company — but I didn’t feel I deserved it.

Anderson complemented Broad by picking up 3-43 in the first innings

“It’s (about) personal columns and radio shows that need ‘likes’ and air time, isn’t it?”

The criticism has been strong following a disappointing winter for England that saw them lose Test series in Australia and New Zealand — without winning a single Test — and only went up a notch after the humiliation at Lord’s against an inexperienced Pakistan side.

The defeat had left the players angry, Broad said. “At this level, you’ve always got a point to prove. But we didn’t do ourselves justice at Lord’s and we left there angry.

“And, with the pressure we’ve been under, to come out and put in that sort of performance will give the changing room a lot of confidence.”

Sam Curran picked up his maiden Test wicket on day one in Headingley

Broad’s indifferent outing at Lord’s — he returned 1-61 and 0-13 — and his turnaround at Headingley was a result of the fuller lengths he bowled, something he attributed to the slope at the ground.

“The fuller length can be due to the Headingley slope,” he said. “When you’re running down the hill, it really takes you in, then the square levels off and your foot hits quite early. So it does sort of shock you into bowling a bit fuller.

“With the nip that was available today it was really worthwhile throwing it as full as we did but not every Test pitch is like that.”

Broad dismissed the Pakistan openers, Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq as well as middle-order batsman Usman Salahudddin to put England in a good position to try and level the series.

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