Stuart Broad hopes Alastair Cook can turn his first Ashes century in six years into a major score and help England take complete control of the fourth Test.
Cook had not reached three figures against Australia since the 2010/11 tour Down Under and had failed to even record a half-century in his six previous innings on this trip.
However, England’s record runscorer finished the second day at the MCG on 104 not out – his 32nd Test century – to help the tourists close on 192 for two in reply to Australia’s 327 all out.
It was an impressive display from a man whose international future has come under scrutiny, but Broad hopes there is much more to come from the 33-year-old on day three.
Broad told BT Sport: “That was Cooky at his best today. I think he’s done quite a bit of work on his mental attitude and he was really positive today. Some of the strokeplay was fantastic.
“The great thing about having him as your opening batsman is you know that he’s not just happy with a hundred.
“He’s going to come back tomorrow and want to bat very big on that pitch, and let’s hope he can do that.”
Broad has not had the best of series either, but he too came to the fore on Wednesday as England fought back with bat and ball.
The paceman finished with impressive figures of four for 51 off his 28 overs as Australia, having started the morning in a position of strength on 244 for three, lost their last seven wickets for 67 runs.
Broad said: “It’s nice to take a wicket I must admit! Things haven’t gone particularly well for me this trip. So it was nice to come back this week and feel in a good rhythm.
“As a bowling unit we got it right.”
Fellow seamer James Anderson added: “Delighted for Broady. The way I’ve seen him work this week is as hard as I’ve ever seen anyone work at their game.
“He’s put in hours of effort in the nets. He deserves everything he got today, because he bowled brilliantly.”
England have already surrendered the Ashes having lost the opening three Tests, but Broad insists the tourists are determined to go down fighting.
He said: “The Ashes have gone but every Test match is vitally important.
“You can see the support we’ve got, the fans are desperate to see England win away and we’re desperate to do something special for them as well.”
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