STUART BROAD insisted the jeers and jibes of the Brisbane crowd did not inspire him to produce the five-wicket haul that helped put England in charge of the first Ashes Test.
But he did concede that he was happy his mother had not been there to hear the avalanche of abuse that rained down from the stands.
Fired into a frenzy by the trashier elements of the Australian press, the 30,000 Gabba crowd subjected Broad to a regular stream of boos and barbs in response to his failure to walk in last summer’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge when he edged a ball to slip and was given not out.
The Brisbane Courier-Mail, which is referring to him only as “a 27-year-old English medium pace bowler” in protest, and which had launched a personal attack on him in the days leading up to this week’s game, has been at the vanguard of inciting vitriol.
The paper plumbed new depths last night when it airbrushed Broad out of a front page photograph of him being congratulated by his team-mates under the headline: “Phantom Menace: English medium pace bowler skittles Aussies”.
But Broad, who took 5-65 to reduce Australia to 273-8 in perfect batting conditions, said he had simply focused on his job.
“The criticism didn’t spur me on,” he said.
“You don’t need any more inspiration than playing for your country in Australia’s backyard in the first Test of the series.
“It doesn’t change how you bowl the ball, what shots you play, and we don’t read the papers in the changing room anyway.
“To be able to come here and pick up wickets like I did (on day one), and as a team to stamp our authority on the series, like we have, that is what we are here for.”
Broad took the first four wickets as Australia fell to 132-6 before recovering through a seventh-wicket stand of 114 between Brad Haddin (78 not out) and Mitchell Johnson (64).
Broad claimed his fifth wicket when he bowled Johnson with the second new ball.
“I’m pleased my mum wasn’t in the stadium,” said Broad of the crowd’s behaviour.
“But, to be honest, I was singing along at one stage.
“I’d braced myself to expect it, and actually it was good fun in some ways.
“I quite enjoyed it; it was something a bit different, but I think I coped with it all okay.”