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England pacer Stuart Broad vows to give his ‘heart and soul’ at Lord’s

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James Anderson and Stuart Broad I BGetty

English pacer Stuart Broad has vowed to give his “heart and soul” if he is called up for the first Test at Lord’s against New Zealand this week. The two leading Test wicket-takers of England – James Anderson and Broad, were dropped from the West Indies Tests earlier this year.

However, the two veteran pacers might be called back into the squad for the first Test of a three-match series against the World Test champions, New Zealand.

The Test at Lord’s is also going to be Ben Stokes’s first match as the new England Test captain, following Joe Root’s resignation in the aftermath of the Ashes loss and loss in the West Indies Test series.

Despite having taken 537 wickets in 152 Tests, Broad said that he was treating his call-back as if he was going to make his debut for England.

On being asked if he had any scars for being excluded from the team earlier, Broad said, “Not at all, I’m fine… I’m going in with the mindset to attack each week and leave my heart and soul on the field. I’m taking my mindset back to as though I’ve played zero Test cricket and have zero experience. You don’t look too far ahead when you make your Test debut, you’re just excited to play the next game.

“I just want to feel fresh and attack the strategy at Lord’s, leave my heart and soul on this field and move on,” the 35-year-old said.

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Broad further said, “I’ve gone away completely from looking at what’s going to happen in August or November. I can’t control that, it’s too far away. I’m just going to give everything for one week of the Test match, try and win that week, learn from it and move on to the next one.

“That could be a really good mindset for the team as well, because if we start looking and planning too far ahead you can lose that focus on what is right in front of you. Right now we have the World Test champions at our home.”

Apart from having a new skipper, England also has a new Test coach to learn from in former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.

“It was a big change in the leadership above the team’s head and there are really good guys there and we are looking forward to getting moving on the pitch,” the bowling great said.

Broad added that getting a callback to the Test squad could add more excitement to his days in London after the Nottingham Forest fan witnessed the team getting promoted to football’s Premier League after a victory in the play-off final at Wembley. 

“I am flying, I am just excited to be around. The chance of being at the home of cricket and the home of football in the same week, if you’d have told my 12-year-old self that I wouldn’t have believed you.

“It is going to be a great week,” he added.

(AFP inputs)

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