Cricket: Broad wary of England letting slip Ashes lead

England's Stuart Broad (right) after the dismissal of Australia's Michael Clark during the Investec Ashes Test Series First Test between England and Australia.
England's Stuart Broad (right) after the dismissal of Australia's Michael Clark during the Investec Ashes Test Series First Test between England and Australia.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Stuart Broad believes England's recent history will help the side guard against complacency when they head into Thursday's second Ashes Test at Lord's 1-0 up in the five-match series.

England confounded many pre-series predictions with a 169-run victory over Australia in the first Test at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens on Saturday - a win completed with more than a day to spare.

Fast-medium bowler Broad, often a thorn in Australia's side, took three for 39 on Saturday including the key wickets of Steven Smith and skipper Michael Clarke as the Ashes-holders lost four wickets for nine runs.

However, this year has seen England go 1-0 up only to be pegged back away to the West Indies and New Zealand in series that eventually ended all square.

Said Broad: "This group of players won in the Caribbean (and) lost the next one, then won at Lord's and lost at Headingley (against New Zealand).

"We've got a huge amount of motivation to put those results right.

"Having been in a team who have lost the first Test and are all up for winning the next one, if a team comes out and just hits you straight away with skill it can be quite deflating. So we need to start well."

It was a point echoed across London by Broad's longtime new-ball colleague James Anderson, who also cited the way in which playing at Lord's, 'the home of cricket' often acts as an inspiration to touring sides.

He said: "Every opposition we play at Lord's generally picks up their game 10 per cent for some reason. When teams are 1-0 down they generally come back strong in the series, so we've got to be prepared for that."

Broad, one of the few England players to acquit themselves well during their 5-0 thrashing of Australia in 2013/14, has been immersed in Ashes cricket ever since childhood.

His father Chris, a former opening batsman, scored three Test hundreds on England's victorious tour of Australia in 1986/87.

"I grew up on Ashes cricket. I like the battle of it," said Broad junior, who in 18 Ashes Tests has now taken 68 wickets at under 30 apiece.

He became something of a 'public enemy' in Australia in 2013/14 following his refusal to 'walk' for an edged catch during England's nail-biting win in the Trent Bridge of the preceding Ashes campaign. He then produced a match-winning spell in Durham as England secured the 2013 Ashes on home soil.

Said Anderson: "You just sometimes forget how dangerous he (Broad) can be when he snaps into that sort of slightly fuller length, always challenging the outside edge.

"At pace, with the bounce that he gets, he can be unplayable at times."

Broad needs just eight more wickets to become only the fourth England bowler to take 300 in Tests, with Anderson (406) at the head of a list that includes retired greats Ian Botham (383), Bob Willis (325) and the late Fred Trueman (307).

Said the 29-year-old Broad, a veteran of 80 Tests: "It would be amazing to get 300 wickets. But I don't judge myself on records - they are for when you look back in 10 years' time. "I'd love to do it in this series... and if I don't, I think I'll get dropped."