Broad finds form to rip through Aussies

Dec 27, 2017 - 8:54 AM England quick Stuart Broad admits he bunkered down in the face of the recent barrage of criticism that came his way, but never doubted he could bounce back.

Broad repaid the faith of selectors, with three wickets as Australia crumbled on day two of the Boxing Day Test to finish with figures of 4-51 from 28 overs.

After taking a modest five wickets in the first two Tests of the series, Broad's position was in serious doubt after a horror 0-142 showing at the WACA.

Australian bowling great Glenn McGrath and former England skipper Michael Vaughan were among the most vocal critics calling for him to be dropped for the Melbourne Test.

Broad, who has also struggled with a knee injury, bowled 414 balls without a wicket before he found the edge of Usman Khawaja's bat on Boxing Day.

After Australia resumed at 3-244, Broad bundled out Shaun Marsh (61), Pat Cummins (four) and Jackson Bird (4) on England's best day of the series.

"I've had one of those weeks where you get your tin hat on, duck down and don't really see much," Broad said when asked about the stinging reviews of his recent performances.

"I've been very unaware of things being written and said.

"I've gone to that place that you have to go to as a sportsman sometimes where you find something within yourself and get support from some people around you and build yourself back up again.

"It's been a pretty tough couple of weeks really, but it makes playing and taking wickets very rewarding."

Broad has had a lean year by his standards, taking 25 wickets in 10 Test matches leading into the fourth Test in Melbourne.

At 31 and playing in his 113th Test, questions have been asked about his longevity in the game and he has no problem with that.

"I deserved criticism after the Perth defeat, for sure," he said.

"I'm a better bowler when I'm thinking attackingly.

"I think at the WACA I fell into a bit of a mental trap of looking not to concede runs instead of looking to take wickets.

"It's a small mental change but actually quite a big thing for me as a cricketer."

Source: AAP

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