Stuart Broad believes England will lose the forthcoming Ashes series if they try and match Australia for aggression.
The last Ashes series, played in the winter of 2013/14, threatened to boil over on a number of occasions, most notably in Brisbane when Michael Clarke and Jimmy Anderson were involved in a heated confrontation which saw the former charged by the International Cricket Council for telling the England bowler to “get ready for a broken f****** arm’’. The Australians, who have not won a series on English soil since 2001, were also heavily criticised for their ill-mannered conduct in the seven-wicket victory against New Zealand in the World Cup final earlier this year.
In contrast New Zealand, on their recent tour of England, have been lauded for their fun approach to the game, while the hosts also appeared to relish in the feel-good factor surrounding the matches as they delivered some of their best displays in what has been a testing 15 months for the national side.
And Broad, who celebrated his 29th birthday last week, insists England must continue to play in that fashion when the Ashes gets under way in Cardiff on July 8.
“I’d expect the Aussies to come hard at our players as the success they have had over us in the last series, and in the World Cup, was based around aggression,” said Broad. “We have to be aware that they will be aggressive towards us, but we have to look them in the eye and be up for a battle but I don’t think we have to rise to it.
“Michael Clarke telling Jimmy to ‘get ready for a broken arm’ - that has been in Australian cricket for years and it is not going to change now, but we have to play to our advantages and style.
“You have seen in the past couple of months guys playing with smiles on their faces and playing aggressive, free flowing positive cricket, and that is how we will beat Australia. We won’t beat them by out-sledging them.”
Broad headed on a four-day training camp with his Ashes team-mates as they prepare for the first Test ahead of what promises to be a scintillating summer.
It also provides the 14-man squad their first chance to work alongside Trevor Bayliss, the 52-year-old Australian coach who has succeeded Peter Moores.