England seamer Stuart Broad is bracing himself for the toughest challenge of his career as his side prepare for the opening clash of their five-Test series with India in Rajkot, which starts on Wednesday.
India, led by skipper Virat Kohli, top the Test rankings and have won 12 and drawn one of their 13 red-ball matches on home soil since Alastair Cook’s England claimed an historic victory there in 2012.
The tourists, meanwhile, head into the series on the back of a harrowing defeat to Bangladesh in Dhaka, which meant their two-Test showdown with the Tigers ended 1-1.
Asked whether the upcoming series had potential to be the toughest of his international career, Broad said: “Yes, without a doubt. I think we are coming as massive underdogs, there’s no doubt about that.
“India have got to No1 in the world and played some brilliant cricket here, so we’re very aware this is a huge challenge. But also we’ve got nothing to fear, because not many of our side have actually played cricket over here.”
Broad is set to make his 100th Test appearance in Rajkot, only the 14th England played to reach such a milestone. The 30-year-old added: “I’m aware of how special an achievement 100 caps is because of the players that have come before me and the amount they’ve given to English cricket.
“But actually, what excites me more is we hope this game will be the start of a huge series for us. We know how vital it is to start these tours well.
"We’ve been training really hard for the last couple of weeks since [the defeat to Bangladesh] in Dhaka, to put some wrongs right.”