First Test: Joe Root hails Stuart Broad as West Indies are trounced

STUART BROAD'S historic match-winning intervention came as no surprise to captain Joe Root in England's innings-and-209-run trouncing of West Indies in this country's first day-night Test.

Broad capped a brilliant all-round performance from the hosts - against opponents who lost 19 wickets in under a day’s play to lose with more than two days to spare - by surpassing his childhood hero Ian Botham to become England’s second-highest all-time Test wicket-taker.

He came up with two in two balls as West Indies, following on after being bowled out for 168, folded again for 137 in reply to England’s mammoth total of 514-8 declared, built on man-of-the-match Alastair Cook’s 243 and a century from Root.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

West Indies were already struggling on 102-4 in their second innings when Broad (3-34) got the ball for his second spell and went level with Botham by taking his two in two.

Two overs later he then bowled Shane Dowrich to move to 384 career victims - only behind team-mate James Anderson.

Reflecting on Broad’s performance, Root said: “Stuart is that sort of guy who wants to be involved.

“Today is just a great recognition of the hard work he has done and that mentality he has to want to take his game forward - even though he’s achieved so much.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Broad’s achievement will grab the headlines, but Root revealed there was relatively little talk in the dressing-room as the landmark loomed.

“Not as much as you might think - he’s a modest guy, and Jimmy and (Alastair) the same,” Root said.

“We all know the class and skill these guys have, and we’re so fortunate to have them rolled into one era.

“All three of the senior guys, the record-breakers, set the standard and strive to improve take the game forward.

“They lead the way.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Root hopes that Broad, Anderson and Cook can keep driving not just themselves but all their team-mates forward with them.

“To have the two leading wicket-takers and the leading runscorer in the side, you have to be careful not to take that for granted,” the England captain added.

“I’m extremely privileged to play in the same team as them - and what a place for young guys to learn, with that great experience and so many runs and wickets behind them.”

Broad spoke of his delight at overtaking Botham, in front of his family - including his father, the great all-rounder’s former team-mate Chris.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He’s obviously been a hero of mine, someone who gave me my Test cap back in 2007 and someone who inspired me to play cricket for England with his performances,” said the 31-year-old.

“It’s very special to be up there in the ranks with him.

“It’s a very special day, having the family here and being able to take a special wicket - but it’s the Test series wins that you remember.”

England can eye their second of the summer, with two matches left to confirm their superiority over West Indies.

Root added: “This was a fantastic team effort.

“We spoke about carrying on the hard work from the last series (against South Africa), take the mentality forward from our batting.

“I thought we did that exceptionally well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We were relentless with the areas we bowled (as well), got the ball to move sideways.

“With the class we have with the new ball, you always know they will create opportunities... and they delivered.

“It’s important we don’t get ahead of ourselves, but it’s filled us with confidence.”

His opposite number Jason Holder had precious little to cheer him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Absolving Jermaine Blackwood - who made an unbeaten 79 in the West Indies’ first innings - and seamer Kemar Roach, Holder said: “It’s been a tough few days - we were disappointing in this Test match; we lacked consistency when we bowled and we didn’t put up any runs.

“We got beaten in three days and just weren’t up to scratch.

“We have to regroup - it’s only one Test, and we can’t drop our heads down.

“The series is not lost... I have to believe, (because) every team is beatable.

“(But) each player has to look themselves in the mirror and see where they can improve.”