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Stuart Broad
World Test Championship

England 'happy' with day one outcome despite Smith rescue-act

Eng v Aus, 1st Test, day one, reaction

Following his five-wicket haul on the opening day of the 2019 Ashes, England fast bowler Stuart Broad acknowledged that his side would've liked to bowl Australia out for fewer, after having reduced them to 122/8, but said they were nonetheless 'happy' about restricting them to under 300.

Smith, in his first Test innings since March 2018, produced a masterful 144 to revive Australia from a seemingly hopeless position to a respectable total of 284.

Broad, who claimed the bowling honours with 5/86, said that the final outcome, when stumps were drawn at Edgbaston, is one England would have taken at the start of the day, especially considering that they had lost the toss.

"After losing a toss and bowling, I think you take bowling a team out for under 300 every day of the week. We don't know how good a score that will be until we've batted on it. I think here, day two is normally the best time to bat, so that's a positive.

"The way Steve Smith played shows that runs can be got on that pitch. It was 120-odd for eight, we obviously wanted to bowl Australia out for much less, but Smith and Siddle played beautifully. But we're pretty happy – I think it was important we didn't lose any wickets as well. That was a good two overs from Rory and Jason. We're happy."

England's bowling attack was left looking a bit light after the experienced James Anderson was forced to leave the field after just four overs due to the resurfacing of a calf injury that kept him out of last week's Test against Ireland at Lord's. Broad said that Anderson was left feeling deflated about not being able to contribute and that his fate would be determined by scans.

"He is down, he is frustrated, he actually came and said sorry to all the bowlers – not that he's got anything to be sorry for – but he's just distraught he couldn't be out there today, but i don't know the next step with it... [The scans] could show not much, and he'll bowl in the second innings, or it could show something and it might be a couple of weeks."

The cloud of doubt over Anderson could leave Broad shouldering more workload in the second innings as well. He responded very well to the demand in the first innings, where his fifth wicket also took him to 100 Ashes scalps. He attributed the success to a slight change in technique, which involved getting the batsmen to play more often.

"What I've been working on in the last month worked today, which is always a really good sign. Peter Moores and our Notts analyst came to me about four weeks ago and said that my leave percentage was a bit higher than my norm.

"The last month, I've just been challenging myself to make batsmen play as often as possible – that's been my No.1 goal. I'm focussing on getting the batsman to play every single ball. I think my leave percentage today was down to under 15 per cent, which is really low."

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