STUART BROAD: I just want to make a positive impact on the new England as soon as I can

Whenever a new management team comes in, it’s always a bit of a stressful time because you never know if you are a player that they want to move forward with.

The uncertainty has been no different for me over the past few weeks with England, but I feel the way I play my cricket and the aggressive approach that I like to take on to the field suits the characteristics of Rob Key, Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

Quite simply, I’m really looking forward to getting going against New Zealand next week after being selected in the first Test squad of the summer. So far, I’ve had only one, very brief cricket chat on the phone with Brendon, but I’m positive about what lies ahead.

Stuart Broad says he has no long-term targets apart from helping England’s new regime

Of course, you can never guarantee performances, but what I can guarantee at the start of this new era is something I always have done — my heart and soul will go into playing at Lord’s. After being left out over the winter, it is really refreshing to be forward facing and only setting my focus in one direction. There will be no looking back because there is no need for it.

Decisions that were made on selection in 2020, 2021 and the start of 2022 do not affect what is going to happen now in June, so it is up to me to put in performances to drive this team forward.

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In most walks of life, if you keep looking back over your shoulder at things that have happened in the past, it can be quite draining, so I’ve made that face forward commitment to myself.

It has given me a lot of energy in my early season performances at Nottinghamshire and to resume a Test career that at 152 caps is certainly more than halfway through! In all seriousness, though, although I know my future became a topic of interest when I was overlooked for the Caribbean, with regards to what remains of my career, that is not something I am focused on.

Broad says previous performances mean nothing and he still has to drive this team forward

Broad says previous performances mean nothing and he still has to drive this team forward

There are no long-term targets. I am just trying to have as positive an impact as I can, as soon as I can, under this regime.

At some point, I will need to get into a room with Ben, Brendon and the new selector when they are appointed, to ask for some clarity, both what they want for me and what I want from them. Whether that is seven Test matches, five Test matches, four Test matches, one, whatever, I will be prepared and ready.

In my one cricket conversation with Brendon, we didn’t put timeframes on things. He just said it would be great to sit down together and chat about how he wants to embed his style into this England team.

Every player has such an important role in that. A coach might make clear the style he wants but unless the players grab hold of that and self-police it, it’s difficult for it to take off.

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The only other time I have spoken to him since his appointment was to ask permission to go to Wembley to watch Nottingham Forest in the play-off final at Wembley. We check into the team hotel later that day.

Broad says he thinks stylistically, Brendan McCullum will like his 'aggressive approach'

Broad says he thinks stylistically, Brendan McCullum will like his ‘aggressive approach’

Once we do get together in London, the focus will be on helping create some new statistics. The facts state that this England team has won one Test in 17. I would like to think we can make it one win in one when we start the international summer.

Not that the forward facing attitude means looking any further ahead. A weakness in the past has been a habit of focusing on the next Ashes. Let’s stop all that, make it one from one at Lord’s, sign that game off and move onto the next one. There is no doubt there is a little bit of an injury problem with bowlers at the moment, so it is important the guys who are fit stay fit because we cannot afford too many more to go.

In that regard, I’ve had a decent record over a 15-year career with England and when I got injured during the warm-up at Lord’s last August, it was the first home Test I’d missed through injury.

Broad (right) pictured laughing with his England team-mate Ben Stokes (left)

Broad (right) pictured laughing with his England team-mate Ben Stokes (left) 

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I have thoroughly enjoyed building up to international cricket with Nottinghamshire and feel I have made good contributions to a team that instinctively plays on the front foot and is well placed towards the top of the second division. However, this period highlighted a real concern in the County Championship about this year’s batch of Dukes balls. They have not swung and because they are going soft very quickly, neither is there any bounce. Things have been so bad that we have had to change the ball two or three times every innings.

It has felt like bowling with a rolled up piece of Plasticine and the balls are that soft you feel like you can squeeze them even before you have bowled a ball with them.

In the first innings against Derbyshire this week, the ball went out of shape after 3.3 overs and was changed after eight.

It could yet be an issue for the upcoming Test series too because whereas in county cricket the rings that are used to check if a ball is still in shape is specifically made for Dukes, the ICC version used in international cricket is also made to accommodate the Kookaburra and SG, balls that are bigger.

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