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Broad seeing a big finish to Aussie tour
10:19am Wednesday 29th January 2014 in Sport
ENGLAND Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad believes there is a huge incentive to finish the difficult tour of Australia with a series win in the shortest format.
England will bid to regain some lost pride in the threematch series, which begins in Hobart today.
Broad is one of five players who have remained Down Under since England first landed, three months ago, during which time just one win has been managed in ten games against Australia.
The 27-year-old admits the prospect of at least winning a series on tour, with the World Twenty20 also less than two months away, will drive him on.
‘‘It would be huge,’’ he said.
‘‘England cricket has been through a tough three months. There is a lot of hurt players because we have not done ourselves justice on the field.
‘‘There is a real hunger in this group to finish this tour well.
‘‘Australia have had the better of us for three months and for the five guys who have been involved in all three squads it has been a really tough time for us.
‘‘We have an opportunity in a strong team to leave this tour with a little bit of happiness.
‘‘That’s what we want to do.’’ Australia, who are placed two spots below England in eighth on the Twenty20 rankings, will field a weakened team for the series with their Test players set to fly to South Africa today.
David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson will therefore be absent, but Broad is concerned only with his own side.
The right-armer thinks England’s batting line-up is the envy of most teams with the likes of Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, while Luke Wright, Alex Hales and Michael Lumb slot in straight from playing in the Big Bash League.
‘‘We’re very confident as a T20 side,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve had guys consistently performing especially in the Big Bash and there’s a lot of confidence in our group, especially with our batting line-up with the power and skills we’ve got.
‘‘I think in T20 cricket it is important not to focus too much on what the opposition do because if you get your skills right – someone gets 80 off 40 balls or someone gets three for 20 – you generally have a very good chance of winning.
‘‘We have a very strong squad and a very confident squad and I think that’s a really encouraging sign for us seeing as the tour hasn’t gone so well.’’ While Broad sung the praises of the batting line-up, England will be without the destructive talents of Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen has been rested for the limited overs leg of Australia and, while his future is a hot topic, was named in the provisional 30-man Twenty20 squad this month.
Broad would not be drawn on whether he would like Pietersen, who was the player of the tournament when England won the 2010 World Twenty20, in his final squad, which is due to be named shortly after this series.
‘‘I can see why, if I was to flip-flop into your position, I’d ask that question,’’ he said.
‘‘I think you can see from my position it would be hard to comment on that.
‘‘The focus is purely on what we do in Australia and once we’ve got these three games, and hopefully a series win, under our belt we can focus on planning more on the World Twenty20.”
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