Stuart Broad believes England’s batsmen should be eyeing a substantial lead against New Zealand after day two of the second Test in Hamilton.
Broad was the pick of England’s attack with four wickets for 73 runs on a surface that offered precious little for fast bowlers as the Blackcaps were restricted to 375 all out before the tourists closed on 39 for two.
With opener Dom Sibley and Joe Denly back in the pavilion, Broad has called on the remaining batsmen to deliver, endorsing Rory Burns to challenge New Zealand’s bowlers.
“If a batsman really applies himself on these pitches and doesn’t play loose shots and wants to just score in their area, they can be a real handful,” Broad said.
“Someone like Rory Burns is our key batsman because he’s someone that has his areas that he scores in and if he can stay in that bubble and not chase balls outside off-stump etc, he’s someone who could go and get 200.
“If we bat through the whole of (Sunday) and go past New Zealand, we can apply some pressure on them in the second innings. If we don’t go and get 400, we can’t.
“We know we’ve got to go and bat 150 overs here to set up a game on day five. If you’re a batsman, you’d want to bat out there, wouldn’t you? If you were good at batting, you’d fancy that.”
In the last Test at Seddon Park, New Zealand amassed 715 for six declared after restricting Bangladesh to 234 all out before completing an innings win, and Broad admitted England will be following a similar blueprint.
“For us to win this game, we’ll need a batter to get 150-plus and someone else to get a hundred and leave ourselves a day to bowl them out on day five,” he said.
“I think that’s how New Zealand won the last Test they played here – they got 700 and odd for six. Arguably, they’re probably 300 under-par.”
Broad revealed England have a different mindset because of the flat surfaces in New Zealand, where the touring seamers varied their paces and lengths on Saturday afternoon.
After Tom Latham was dismissed for 105, having added only four to his overnight 101, an attritional 124-run stand between BJ Watling and Test debutant Daryl Mitchell helped New Zealand recover from 191 for five.
However, England’s tactics ensured they reaped their rewards shortly before the tea interval and beyond as New Zealand were only to add 60 runs for their final five wickets.
“If you win the toss and bowl in England and concede 370, you’d be distraught,” Broad added.
“They make you work hard for the wickets here. On pitches like this you’ve got to pick your times to attack and New Zealand played really well between lunch and tea. We needed to make something happen after tea.
“We won the toss and bowled not to bowl New Zealand out for 150 – it was a 330-350 – and then bat big once to try to win the game. We thought it would be our best chance to take 20 wickets in five days, by bowling first.”
Watling, England’s tormentor with an epic double century in Mount Maunganui that helped New Zealand to an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-Test series, was out for a painstaking 55 to a Broad bumper.
Mitchell also fell into Broad’s short-ball trap, but after contributing 73 in his first Test innings, having replaced the injured Colin De Grandhomme, he said: “It’s pretty cool to be able to contribute.
“If you said at the start of the day, I would have done that I’d have been happy. I’m not complaining.”
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