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Broad will bounce back

Bob Willis Posted 21st September 2007 view comments

ICC World Twenty20
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Being hit for six sixes in an over is something that stays with a bowler for the rest of his life.

For Stuart Broad, after the assault by Yuvraj Singh on Wednesday in South Africa, there will be some scars to bear for a while.

Broad shoulders: Bob back Stuart to come back strong

Broad shoulders: Bob back Stuart to come back strong

It is not the sort of record that disappears, just ask Malcolm Nash. He had to live with it for the rest of his career after suffering the same fate at the hands, and bat, of Gary Sobers when playing at Glamorgan in 1968. We still remember his name.

But I believe we will remember Broad's name for better things in years to come. I am a big Broad fan - he is a tough enough character to take it and he will come back.

One has to accept that Twenty20 is out and out a batsman's game and bowlers are going to be smashed further and further as batting techniques become more refined in that form of the game.

Bob Willis
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One has to accept that Twenty20 is out-and-out a batsman's game and bowlers are going to be smashed further and further as batting techniques become more refined in that form of the game. Sanath Jayasuriya, who knows how to do some smashing himself, was a victim of this as four of his overs went for a record 62 runs. Broad, whose allotment went for 60, is not alone.

Bowlers are going to have to accept that they are going to have some pretty sick figures to deal with, but I must admit that I was surprised Broad couldn't come up with one delivery out of six that wouldn't go for six.

He tried to bowl one delivery full and wide of off-stump but it was too full and went sailing over the square cover boundary and you must praise the remarkable hitting of Yuvraj Singh for his achievement.

There aren't many players who are able to improvise and hit some of those deliveries over the rope; some of the shots went to peculiar places. You could understand them being heaved over mid-wicket or hit straight down the ground but being hit all over the ground, as Yuvraj did to Broad, isn't something you can do much about.

It will be the lasting memory of Broad at the ICC Twenty20 and of what has been otherwise an excellent summer for the young man, in which he has cemented his place among the England contenders.

I was disappointed that Broad wasn't more involved in Australia last winter. The selectors had decided that it was too soon for him but I always thought, over the last 18 months, that he has more to offer than Liam Plunkett or Sajid Mahmood.

He certainly has ability with the bat and England are desperate to find a number eight after Ashley Giles dropped out of the side. Broad could well be that man.

Next stop Sri Lanka

Although I feel sorry for Leicestershire losing all of their quality players, I feel that he will be better off bowling for Nottinghamshire in Division One of the County Championship next year against better batsmen - when he is not playing for England.

Next stop for him though is Sri Lanka and that is not the friendliest place for a pace bowler to land, especially when he has memories of Yuvraj in his mind. They have some pretty severe batsmen as well, although as we saw against Australia in the Twenty20, they can be reckless and get out for very little. It is though an unforgiving place to bowl as a seamer whether in 20 over, 50 over or Test match cricket.

But it is the next step up on his learning curve and it will help him to become a better player for England in years to come.

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