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Stuart Broad builds up to second Virtual Test with Sri Lanka

Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange is using a cricket simulation to play out two Virtual Test Matches in place of the postponed series between Sri Lanka and England

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England's Stuart Broad talks Ian Ward through his training in Sri Lanka ahead of Benedict Bermange's second Virtual Test

What is a typical training session in Sri Lanka like for Stuart Broad?

Fresh from taking four wickets in testing bowling conditions in England's first Virtual Test win over Sri Lanka - a win that owed much to an inspired tea-time team-talk by the veteran quick on day one - Broad talks us through his preparation ahead of the second Test, which begins on Friday…

Well, kind of.

Broad did indeed chat to Ian Ward while out training in Sri Lanka, though it was ahead of England's scheduled two-Test series that was ultimately called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click on the video at the top of the page to watch Broad go about his work in the nets, including attempting a Paul Collingwood-esque slower ball.

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Sky Cricket statistician Benedict Bermange explains how the Virtual Test series came about and how it works.

"These sorts of conditions can lead you into not just trying to hit the top of off for six balls an over," said Broad.

"Whereas in other countries like England and South Africa there is great value in that and it is a huge strength to have, in this session I wanted to try a different slower ball and different ways with a newer ball to see what variant of swing I can get with different grips.

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"Collingwood was someone who bowled a slower ball without flicking his wrist and Chris Woakes has taken that on; I watch Woakesy bowl it last week in a three-day game and thought 'that can be really effective in these conditions'. So I just wanted to try it and it was quite fun, actually.

"I'm not a perfectionist in nets so if I hit the side-netting or the top of the net, I don't care; I think you've got to try things and get things wrong to know how you can get it right."

Sadly Broad was unable to see if practice made perfect out in the middle, although, who knows, perhaps he can send a Sri Lankan batsman or two packing with it in Benedict's second Virtual Test.

Follow Broad and England's progress in the second Virtual Test from Friday, on Twitter via @Benedict_B and @SkyCricket and the Sky Sports website.

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