Cricket

Stuart Broad wary of Ashes favourites tag

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Stuart Broad insists England will not allow the unaccustomed tag of Ashes favourites to prevent them from playing to their full capability when Australia arrive for the much anticipated summer series.

England are listed at 5/6 with bookmakers to record a third successive Ashes triumph over their antipodean rivals, having secured an historic 3-1 victory Down Under the last time the two sides contested a Test series.

Broad's influence on that occasion may have curtailed by injury, but he played a prominent role in ensuring the urn was snatched from the clutches of Australia on their previous visit to England in 2009.

The 26-year-old is hopeful he can have a similar impact on proceedings four years later, although Broad is not prepared to get carried away by assertions that England will comfortably dispatch of the tourists.

Broad believes Australia's inexperienced squad is still brimming with quality and will provide an extreme test for England as their attempt to wrest the Ashes back from the No.2 ranked team in the world.

"I'm really conscious that it's the first time England are really going into the Ashes as favourites," he told BBC Sport.

"Even Matty Hayden says Australia are underdogs. When has an Australian ever said that?

"Equally, Australia are a very good team. Those who have come out, ex-players or whatever, saying England are going to cruise it - I think they've forgotten how tough Australia are to play against.

"We didn't win the Ashes in Australia for 25 years, which is why it's surprising to hear England players who played in that era saying we're going to walk all over them. It's not going to happen.

"It will be a very close series. They fight every ball. They never give up. They are hard. They have a passion for winning. Speak to any Aussie, at rugby or anything, and they just hate losing."

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes

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