England veteran quick Stuart Broad has vowed to leave his “heart and soul” on the field should he earn a Test recall against New Zealand at Lord’s this week.
Both James Anderson and Broad, England’s two all-time leading Test wicket-takers, were controversially left out of the squad that lost 1-0 in a three-match series in the West Indies earlier this year.
But the new-ball duo could be back in the side for the first of a three-match campaign against reigning World Test champions New Zealand at Lord’s starting on Thursday, in what will be Ben Stokes’s first match since he was appointed permanent England captain following the resignation of Joe Root.
Although the 35-year-old Broad has taken 537 wickets in 152 Tests, he said Tuesday he was treating his return to the England squad as if he had still to make his debut.
Asked if there were any scars from being dropped by England, he told reporters at Lord’s: “Not at all, I’m fine… I’m going in with the mindset to attack each week and leave my heart and soul on the field.
“I’m taking my mindset back to as though I’ve played zero Test cricket and have zero experience. You don’t look too far ahead when you make your Test debut, you’re just excited to play the next game.
“I just want to feel fresh and attack the strategy at Lord’s, leave my heart and soul on this field and move on.”
– ‘Focus’ –
He added: “I’ve gone away completely from looking at what’s going to happen in August or November. I can’t control that, it’s too far away. I’m just going to give everything for one week of the Test match, try and win that week, learn from it and move on to the next one.
“That could be a really good mindset for the team as well, because if we start looking and planning too far ahead you can lose that focus on what is right in front of you. Right now we have the World Test champions at our home.”
As well as a new captain, England also have a new Test coach in former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who takes over with England on a woeful run of one win in 17 matches.
“It was a big change in the leadership above the team’s head and there are really good guys there and we are looking forward to getting moving on the pitch,” said Broad.
For Broad, the prospect of a Test recall could cap a memorable few days in London after the Nottingham Forest fan saw the club promoted to football’s Premier League with victory in the play-off final at Wembley last weekend.
“I am flying, I am just excited to be around,” said Broad.
“The chance of being at the home of cricket and the home of football in the same week, if you’d have told my 12-year-old self that I wouldn’t have believed you.