Broad leads the way for England

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Back in September, it was England player Jonathan Trott who picked up the coveted International Cricket Council Player of the Year Award fro 2011. And it would be hard to argue with that.

But with cricket in 2011 almost done, it is time to move away from casino war to look back and assess who has been England’s shining star of the year.

It would be easy to point to Trott, following his performances against India and Sri Lanka in the summer, but there are plenty of other fine individuals who would almost certainly be in the running.

Ian Bell enjoyed a fantastic year. Ahead of last summer, much criticism was levelled at Bell, and many questioned his right to be in the team. It seems, however, he took that criticism and found a positive out of it.

Though he did not make many huge scores throughout the summer, he always did a solid job when called upon, with a couple of very big scores thrown in.

His most spectacular moment came at the Oval, though, when with England somewhat on the ropes, he produced the innings of a life time, hitting a stunning double century against India, finishing eventually on 235. His half-century at Lords was another key moment.

You could hardly ignore Andrew Strauss either. Despite not making any truly big scores in an England shirt over the summer, it was his inspirational captaincy that guided the side to two series victories, and of course, the world number one ranking.

For me though, there was no one more deserving of the award for England’s best player in 2011 than Stuart Broad
The Nottinghamshire bowler was a constant thorn in the side of India as England recorded a memorable series whitewash over them. Whether it was with the bat or the ball, he consistently seemed to be the go to man.

It was in his hometown, playing at Trent Bridge that his most memorable occasion came along.

Batting first, England had the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker and set India a big chase. It certainly did not seem to be going that way early on, however. The bowling duo of Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth had England struggling at 117-7 at one point.

Any chance of getting 150 looked unlikely, let alone 200.

But then Broad came to the crease. Primarily a bowler, few expected him to have much of an impact at this stage of the game. Nevertheless, he began to play his shots, and by the time he was dismissed for a hearty 64, England had reached the rather more respectable score of 221.

India always likely to close that score down with ease, but thanks to Broad’s batting, they were unlikely to build an unassailable lead.

Back to the day job, bowling, Broad again took things into his own hands. With India already well past England’s total, and seemingly in cruise control, he bowled a magnificent over, which included a superb hat trick. Within the blink of an eye, India had gone from 273-6 to 288 all out.

A magnificent 159 from Ian Bell helped England build a big lead in the second innings, with Broad making a welcome contribution again, of 44.

India were eventually bowled out in their second innings for just 158, as Broad took a further two wickets.

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This is a guest post. Hence, it has not been written by blog author jimmymycrushie (Sanya).