Broad Would Be England’s First Australian Captain

Here’s Jack Mendel with some interesting thoughts on Stuart Broad’s candidacy. Thanks go to our friends at The Diary of The 17th Man for the image above. We’ve resurrected it from a piece Jeremy Pooley wrote for us a while back. 

Following the resignation of Alastair Cook, the possibility of Stuart Broad succeeding him has surfaced. This would inject a very Australian feeling into England.

Stuart Broad is hated by Australia so much that one wonders if they’re just a bit jealous.

The Aussies can dish out hard talk and aggressive cricket, and Broad can take it and give back the same.

They don’t like him because they see a bit of them in him.

Before even thinking about his performances, the single moment etched into the Old Enemy’s minds when it comes to Broad, will be an infamous incident at Trent Bridge in 2013.

Broad hit the ball to slip, but stood his ground as the Australians celebrated his wicket. He arrogantly watched the ball carry and just stood there as if nothing had happened.

In many ways, a new love-hate relationship was sparked.

Australians have always mocked the English. Indeed, the Ashes was born after a mock-obituary of English cricket was published in a British paper, The Sporting Times.

Mocking the English been the cornerstone of the relationship, and when the Aussies are losing, they target those who don’t fit that mould of polite bumbling ‘Englishness’.

In 2005, they used to target Kevin Pietersen, with his ridiculous hairstyle and supposed playboy lifestyle. And it spurred him on. When he smashed Glenn McGrath onto the Lord’s pavilion, he gained respect. When he saved the Oval Test with 158, he gained respect, with Shane Warne walking him off the pitch.

In 2013/14 down under, they went for Broad.

The Courier Mail refused to print his name.

When ‘The 27-year old medium pace bowler’ as he (Broad) was referred to, had a good tour taking 21 wickets, amidst a crisis for England, he won respect.

Broad won respect not only because he bowled well, but because he showed that he doesn’t get wound up by the opposition’s sledges or the press.

Indeed, during that 2013/14 series’, he even walked into press conferences with a copy of the Courier Mail to show that he could take the piss too.

With ball in hand, on number of occasions throughout his career, he has virtually single-handedly won games in a spell. No more so was this shown than when he took 8-15 against Australia at Nottingham, to win the game, or the 10-wicket hall in Durham, to win the game, or 5-37 at the Oval in 2009, to win the game.

Whether it’s Broad ability to get under the opposition’s skin by being unflappable, or his knack of bowling out Australia on his own, he has shown he can both take it and dish it out.

Now of course, if he were to become Test captain, a lot of things would need to be worked on.

He’d need to manage his own bowling workload, which is always difficult for a bowling captain.

He’d certainly need to rethink his use of reviews and the frequency of his appeals.

But in general, a Broad captaincy would be a breath of fresh air after five years of the robotic, grinding predictable Alastair Cook.

It would be a more Australian flavour of English captaincy.

Jack Mendel


  • I am no fan of Cooks as a skipper, but I think winning in India, SA and two home Ashes wins. Grinding predictable, give me it every time if that’s the case.

  • That Broad edge reaction was a joke, it was the same match Trott middled it onto his legs to be out LBW but the aussies were loving it, not to mention Haddin edging it behind for the final wicket and standing his ground. It wen’t off the keeper’s leg to slip anyway.

    Typical aussies though when they’re losing, they even had members of their government complaining about a Khawaja decision later in the series. The only time they’re worse is when they’re winning

    • I like the Aussies as a people, its a great country as well, but I tend to agree Gav, they are bad losers and winners. I don’t think having the likes of McGrath predicting 5 nil each time and taking the pee helped either. But you must remember that sport is a religion down under. They have continuously punched above their weight in most sports. Take Rugby Union, played in only 2 states, with a very small group of players and still World Cup winners twice. I remember being down under in the 80’s when the newspapers complained about two Aussie golfers going to visit their wives, both about to give birth, in the middle of tournament. You would have thought they had just shot Skippy. But I love them, great company and great friends

    • A bit rich, the English are notoriously bad winners. Head out to Twickenham if your not sure. Given the last two results, you had better hurry.

      Any winning team will posses a bit of arrogance, particularly if you are top of the rankings. To puff your chest out and look down at your opponent is part of the “war”. I’ll happily except that, even a little nod in respect at Kholi and Ashwin et al.

      When the Aussie were pounding everybody test after test, year after year, they weren’t rubbing it in the faces of the oppo, they just waited for the next game and dominated it again.

      Seriously, the Aussies are better at winning then England……probably because they are more used to it……………..!

      • Eh Dougie darling, I am Irish and have served with Aussies. Been there umpteen times and love the country and the people. But if you don’t think the Aussies were bad winners and losers then there is nothing a doctor can do for you old sweet. As for Aussies winning more than England, well not lately they haven’t. I bring your attention to the last Ashes, and the Rugby Union tour. End ex

  • No.
    I like Broady, and he does indeed, get right up their noses, but test cricket has more opponents than Australia.
    Broad is probably a bit old, as a bowler, to take on the added responsibility of captain. There can be NO risky action that may contribute to a downturn in his bowling. That is where he must concentrate his efforts, as England face a treble bowling retirement during the next 2-4 years.
    Vice Captain to Joe Root? Yes
    Captain? No

  • I think Broad is a decent shout. My second option. But I have two major issues with his candidacy.

    A) His batting. You can’t have a captain that looks scared when he bats. It sends an awful message to both the team and the opposition. I sympathise with him (being hit on the head like that would change most people) but I just don’t want to see an England captain backing away to leg and looking edgy and intimidated. It would give the opposition a massive boost. The captain must always be completely composed.

    B) His fitness record. Broad is a fine bowler but he isn’t effective when he’s down on pace and struggling for fitness. I’d rather play someone else who’s 100% fit in those circumstances. However, if Broad is captain then there will always be more pressure to play when he’s 80% etc.

  • It’s Root. I’m stunned, I demand to see how the ECB arrived at this conclusion, if it’s not too complicated for me to understand that is

  • Given the announcement, a little redundant.

    Broad was worth consideration, if only for his experience against Root’s relative lack of it. The other question for me was whether Root as an inexperienced captain needs Broad as an experienced deputy for the upcoming series against SA and Oz, or whether there’s a fresh slate and completely new captain and vice captain.

    Although the Aussies like to think they’ve got ownership on ‘hard talk’ and ‘agressive’ cricket, Smith comes across as a whiney child when things don’t go his way. As for grinding and predictable captains, does that not describe Steve Waugh?

    • Re Waugh and his captaincy. Well I don’t know, but his teams batted at 4 an over. Plus he didn’t have to be a great skipper anyway. All he had to do was toss the ball to Warne and McGrath and that was it. He skippered a team with 3 geniuses in Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist, and the remainder were just great, great players. A bit like coaching the great Barca football team. Just send them out and let them do the business

      • Bit like Clive Lloyd’s captaincy, that. “What shall we do now? I know. Bring on a fast bowler.” To be very to Clive, he did a fantastic job of bringing the West Indian islands together, in a way that hasn’t been managed since.

        • totally agree James. I remember when they had such a selection of pace men. Some of whom couldn’t get a game, unless some all time great like Holding, Roberts or Marshall were injured. Mind it did help having that batting line up as well. A truly great side. Really sad to see how far they have fallen

  • The “process” has concluded a bit sooner than anticipated. Perhaps the Broad and Stokes interviews were only for the vice captaincy since Stokes has been appointed to that role (which is an “interesting” development in itself…)

    • The LBJ dictum springs to mind in the case of Stokes – better to have some people inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. The real question is whether the selectors and Root will have the guts to leave Stokes out of the team when it becomes the best decision (as would have been the case several times in recent years).

  • Aggers spoke sense on 5 Live……Strauss speaking to other members of the team would have been to gauge their thoughts & not, as many posited, to sound them out about taking the captaincy. Understandable and sensible even though some have used it as a (yet another)stick with which to beat Strauss. I have to confess to not understanding the spite aimed at Strauss – then again I remember when he was appointed and some bloke or other said he knew Strauss and England had been given permission to lose the 2015 Ashes…. and some, oddly, believing him….
    I think Joe’s the right choice and he’s had time to consider before accepting. I’m looking forward to the Test season, albeit it’s a good way off.

    • Well said Pam, but you are a bit of a voice in the wilderness. As for the spite aimed at Strauss, well it is all to do with his part in the demise of a certain Kevin Pietersen. In other words he stood up to KP and his followers and decided that team harmony was more important than a ego driven individual with a God complex. The abuse he has suffered at the hands of the likes of Piers Morgan is near enough actionable. But I would have thought getting abuse from Morgan is a sign that one must be doing the right thing

      • Why does criticism have to mean ‘spite’ William? The whole idea of a cricket forum is to debate the issues and have fun in the process. Disagreeing with decisions, and looking at things from different angles, is what it’s all about.

        Do you watch shows like Have I Got News For You? The whole premise is to poke fun at officialdom and to critique government decisions. Is Ian Hislop just a fly in the ointment who breathes spite because he dares to question the tone and competence of PMs?

        Personally I have no issue with Strauss at all. He was a good England captain. I praise him when he doesn’t things I agree with and criticise him when he does things I dislike. However, I reserve the right to make fun of his committee man image and his boring / corporate tone of voice. Doesn’t mean I don’t respect him.

          • Yes I do.

            Your answer that implies you disagree. What, in your opinion, is a cricket forum for? Would you find it interesting if you clicked on TFT and found a menagerie of likeminded people all patting each other on the back and agreeing with each other?

            Having said that, all discourse must be respectful and not of a flippant or smart-arsey nature. Otherwise it will be deleted.

            • I think you will find that most on here tend to agree with James. Plus I have seen several “well said James” opening comments. I even indulged in one myself.

      • Thinking that Strauss is a plonker for going down the ‘management theory’ route in selecting an England captain is not the same as having a wider disregard for him. I thought Strauss was a decent captain and is generally unobjectionable. However, I have seen too many hide behind management theory when faced with big decisions. It also opens them to being accused of inconsistency or hypocrisy when they do the management thing one way and then something different next time. Strauss is not unique. I have seen the same problem with the CEO of one of the worlds biggest companies – of which I was a director for the UK subsidiary.

    • Strauss himself said he hadn’t talked to anyone about the captaincy before the process began. He also said he wanted a thorough process to make sure he got the right man for the job. So therefore (unless one doesn’t take him at this word) this wasn’t a dead cert from the beginning.

      • James, that noise you hear is the sound of a dead horse being beaten. Strauss no matter how you cut it, runs the show now. So for the foreseeable future, it will be his way or the highway. If you doubt that, the ask KP.

        • Well……..not the entire foreseeable future. As I have said before it depends on when he exchanges the creak of leather and swish of willow at Lords for the same sound at the Friday night meetings of the Conservative MPs caucus. I would guess 2020.


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