Broad relishing Ashes baptism of fire at the 'Gabbatoir'

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Stuart Broad

London, September 13: Stuart Broad believes he will "thrive" within the traditionally hostile reception afforded to England players at the Gabba when the Ashes get under way later this year.

The opening bowler, who moved above Ian Botham into second on the list of his country's all-time Test wicket-takers during the recent series against West Indies, has been targeted as the man Australia fans love to hate in recent contests.

That enmity stems from the 2013 Ashes, when Broad refused to walk after edging Ashton Agar to slip, via the gloves of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, during the first Test at Trent Bridge.

When England travelled Down Under for the return series at the end of that year, Broad was afforded a predictably unfriendly welcome by the Brisbane crowd.

He responded by taking five wickets on the opening day en route to claiming 6-81 and Broad is eagerly anticipating the chance to renew old rivalries amid what promises to be another confrontational atmosphere at the arena known as 'the Gabbatoir' when the first Test begins on November 23.

"I think as an England player you'd be disappointed if you didn't get stick at the Gabba - that's gone on for years," Broad told reporters.

"But I love all that, you're in the battle straight away and it sort of helps me as a cricketer.

"I seem to thrive off the extra spice and there will be a bit of that."

Australia have a fearsome record at the Gabba, where they have not lost a Test since 1988, while England's last win at the venue came two years prior to that.

"I like the pitches, I feel I know the fields for plan A and B, but this is our time as a team," Broad said.

"We've been building for a while and we've got experience but also middle ones, guys who have played 35-45 Tests, and that is when you learn as a player how to get your team out of trouble or how to put your foot on the throat.

"We just need to get out of the Gabba with something."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 15:30 [IST]
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