Cricket

Stuart Broad hails Cook call

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Stuart Broad is thankful England captain Alastair Cook ignored his advice, on a dream first day at Trent Bridge for the Ashes hosts.

Broad reflected at stumps on a "perfect" start to the fourth Investec Test after his career-best eight for 15 had shot Australia out for 60 in 18.3 overs, and then Joe Root (124no) and Jonny Bairstow (74) carried England to 274 for four.

His inclination to bat first, despite cloud cover, fell on deaf ears with Cook - and after England's third-best Ashes figures of all time, Broad will be heeding his captain's instincts from now on.

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Cook believes England cannot yet afford to start thinking of how they are going to regain the Ashes here, with a match to spare.

"A 214 lead after day one is as powerful a performance as I've been involved in," said Broad.

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"To bowl a team out for 60 is obviously very special. But to then be 270 odd (as well) is an amazing achievement.

"It's been the perfect day for us, but it all starts again tomorrow."

Cook had little hesitation making what was clearly the right decision at the toss.

Broad took most advantage, delighting the crowd at his home ground with a wicket third ball to become only the fifth Englishman to reach 300 in Tests - and then mopping up another seven in 9.3 overs.

He added: "It was a good morning to bowl, a good toss to win ... although I was telling Cookie to bat.

"It was just one of those days you dream of really - home ground, to pick up 300 Test wickets and then get a career-best."

Broad was breaking new ground with his best analysis in any cricket.

"My previous-best ever bowling was seven for 12 against Kimbolton School Under-15s.

"I keep seeing the scoreboard pop up on the TV, or see it on the ground, and it doesn't look real to me.

"It's a bit of a freak day. But it's what you work hard for, those moments when it all works for you.

"It's great to have a PB against Australia, one of the best teams in the world."

England kept finding the edge, and taking all catches - and Australia's batsmen appeared compliant.

"The pitch just offered the perfect amount," said Broad.

"It wasn't really swinging massively, wasn't seaming loads ... I think we got seven edges and only one play-and-miss.

"We were brave enough to put six catchers in at one stage - and there were some amazing catches ... probably the all-round perfect bowling and fielding performance, backed up with some outstanding batting."

Victory here will see the urn regained, after England's 5-0 whitewash defeat two winters ago.

But Broad said: "We've been conscious all week not to talk about winning the Ashes - because I think that mentally takes you to quite a dangerous place.

"Cookie said again at the end of the day's play 'Let's enjoy the next hour in the changing room; we've had a fantastic day, one of the best England have had in the Ashes ever - but let's reset for tomorrow'."

It is a long, long way back for the tourists, though - and captain Michael Clarke admitted he had endured few if any tougher days.

"It's up there," he said.

"That, and being bowled out for 47 against South Africa (in 2011), is not a nice one to remember.

"That's as tough as they come today."

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
The Ashes

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