Chris Tremlett's Cricket Comment: Time for Broad to take the lead and give England vital early edge

 
Chris Tremlett
Follow Chris
Stuart Broad will have to spearhead England’s attack with James Anderson out
England's main concern, as they prepare for today’s fourth Ashes Test, will probably be ending their unhappy habit of following a victory with an immediate defeat.
They fell into that trap at Lord’s, having won the first Test in Cardiff, so hopefully they can change that pattern and continue the momentum they built up at Edgbaston.
England can win the Ashes at Trent Bridge, so they can’t be complacent. I’m sure they won’t be, but the big issue is how they cope without the injured James Anderson.
His absence is a massive blow. Anderson doesn’t get injured very often, so it will feel unfamiliar for England to be without the leader of their bowling attack.
He is a man who captain Alastair Cook can always throw the ball to in any situation, whether he needs a wicket or to dry it up a little bit. He can also bowl long spells and a lot of overs in a day.
Someone is going to have to take on the responsibility of a few extra overs and that is probably going to fall to Stuart Broad. He is the most experienced bowler out of the four playing and will have to lead the attack. He’ll have to really step up.
No-one in the country can bowl like Anderson – he’s pretty irreplaceable – but England just have to adjust to his absence and have a slightly different plan. There’s no reason why we can’t bowl like we did in the last match without him.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is in a bit of rut and looks to be struggling a little with a back injury. He can’t comfortably get underneath the ball and doesn’t seem to be moving as well as he normally does.
England will know that and use the short ball. But Clarke is one of the best players in the world and you can’t underestimate a man who averages 50 and has 28 hundreds in Test cricket. He started off slowly on the last tour to England but got 187 in the third match at Old Trafford. He hasn’t really got started but is due a big score. England just have to get him out early.

COMPLACENT

They have to be positive and repeat how they played at Edgbaston, and not be timid like at Lord’s. The Aussies are going to come out hard again, we know that.
It’s funny how it has worked: the tourists had the momentum after Lord’s and then they looked to have become complacent and were timid at Edgbaston. So they’ll come back strong. I think whoever gets off to a good start today will win. It’s been that type of series: the toss has been crucial and whoever has won the first day has won the match. Whoever gets the momentum in the first couple of hours will likely win the Test. It’s a big first couple of sessions.
The way the series is going it may well go to 2-2. I think that’s what most people probably want as well. Let’s hope the Aussies put in a bit of a better performance.
It’d be great if England walk away with the Ashes, but at the same time it would be an awesome series if it went down to that last Test.
The Investec Ashes Match at the Kia Oval has now sold out, but you can still experience the drama through our first class hospitality packages kiaoval.com

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles