Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: Stuart Broad's five-wicket salvo is perfect riposte to boo-boys
Stuart Broad's five wickets on day one of the Ashes has silenced his critics, says Andrew Strauss.
Last Updated: 21/11/13 11:04am
Broad, 27, was roundly booed by sections of the Gabba crowd on the opening day of the 2013/14 Ashes following his controversial decision not to walk during the first Test of this summer's Ashes series, which England won 3-0.
But the all-rounder hit back in style by claiming 5-65, his 11th five-wicket haul in 63 Tests and fifth against Australia, as the hosts were held to 273-8 after winning the toss.
"I always thought that he would come back well from being 'public enemy No 1'," said former England captain Strauss.
"Both he and Jimmy Anderson were very good with the new ball. There was a lot of pressure on their shoulders in the morning and they both handled it very well.
"Broad's length was very good. He took some of his wickets with slightly short-of-a-length balls but by and large he got the ball full and straight. It was a very good performance.
"He has got the wood over Michael Clarke, which is a massive role for him to play. Clarke is really struggling with his short balls and the longer Stuart Broad can keep exploiting that, the better it is for England."
Australia appeared to be in a comfortable position before lunch on 71-1 but fell apart after Broad had Shane Watson caught at slip by Graeme Swann.
The ensuing collapse put the home side in deep trouble at 132-6 before Brad Haddin (78no) and Mitchell Johnson (64) counter-attacked with a partnership of 114 in 38.3 overs.
Despite the stand, Strauss insisted that it was still "a brilliant day" for England.
"A lot of people will be waking up in England thinking 273-8 is not a bad score but the wicket was very, very flat and there was no seam movement at all," he reflected. "I think England were worried after the first hour - they were thinking 'I'm not sure we're going to get many wickets on this'.
"But Broad got Watson out just before lunch and really went hard at Michael Clarke and from that moment Australia have been on the back foot. It was an excellent day's cricket, a very professional day's cricket from England and Australia will be bitterly disappointed.
"There were too many soft dismissals, too many people playing at balls they didn't need to. This is a ground that they should be playing well at but they haven't done it today."
Johnson told Sky Sports that although Australia haven't got as many runs as they'd like, he believes his side is "about where we should be".
However Strauss said that unless Haddin pushes on and helps the hosts post at least 400, then England are very much in the box seat.
"Australia will be encouraged by the fact that they got back into it. They were dead and buried at 132-6 so they really needed that partnership between Haddin and Johnson," he said.
"They've got a little bit of momentum there and their bowlers will be thinking 'if we can get early wickets and put England under pressure then the game can change'.
"Johnson has tried to put a positive spin on it but they'll know in the dressing room that they've fluffed their lines. You need 400 on the board. Australia desperately needed Haddin to come out and do what he did; it was a really good effort from him."
Watch highlights of today's play from 10am on Sky Sports 2 - and On Demand from 6.30pm - before The Ashes Verdict (9pm) and Ashes Extra (11pm) hit your screens ahead of coverage of day two, from 11.30pm - also on Sky Sports 2.