England get a frustrating taste of what's to come on opening day of tour in UAE
England know for sure they are in for three instalments of old-school Test cricket' against Pakistan after day one of their tour of the United Arab Emirates.
Stuart Broad and his bowling colleagues found out the hard way against an ICC Combined XI what they already suspected, namely that taking wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be mighty tiring work this winter.
Broad made the most of the new ball after Andrew Strauss had won the toss in the three-day warm-up match, taking a wicket in each of his first three overs to reduce the Combined XI to 10 for three.
Fine batting: Christi Viljoen frustrated England on the opening day of their tour
But Christi Viljoen (98) and Mohammad
Shahzad (51) led the fightback to help their team to 281, before
England reached stumps on 16 for none in reply.
Broad, in his first match since
suffering a shoulder injury at Lord's in September, was nonetheless
highly satisfied with his own well-being and England's work-out.
'The bowlers are pretty happy with bowling the ICC XI out for that,' he said.
'The conditions have been great because they're quite similar to what I think we'll face in the Test matches.
'It would be no good coming here and having a wicket that seams everywhere and isn't actually getting the miles in our legs.'
Having a word: Andrew Strauss speaks with Steven Finn on Saturday in Dubai
Broad (four for 46) got his team off to a flier but then had to wait until the final ball of the innings for his last wicket.
'Getting four wickets with the new
ball was crucial,' he added. 'It didn't do loads, but there was
something to keep you interested.
'That's going to be crucial for us in the Test matches series, to use the new ball and the second new ball wisely.
'Then that period from 50 to 80
(overs) is going to be a real holding role, I think. We're not going to
be able to burst through Pakistan because I just don't think the wickets
are going to be suited to that.
'We got the ball reversing a tiny bit
today, but the wicket had gone quite slow by then so it was hard to
burst through the defences.
'The bowling unit were aware of that, but I think today highlighted it.'
Broad expects England to bat well on
the benign surface, and has no doubt today's experience will prove a
reliable guide to what is to come against Pakistan.
'I think that wicket is pretty good. I think we might enjoy batting on that,' he added.
There are prettier grounds… The scene on the opening day of England's tour
'It could have been worse. We're all
happy to have bowled them out, but it was hard work and we're all aware
this Test series is going to be like that, attritional cricket, going at
two and a half or three an over and fielding for long periods of time
to try to bowl teams out for 300 or 350 in probably about 120 overs.
That's old-school Test cricket, I suppose.'
Broad knows exactly how much work he got through after England were fitted with GPS tracking technology in their vests.
He reported no soreness in his
bowling arm in his first spell after injury, but accepts he will feel a
few aches and pains by the second day.
'The shoulder seems fine, stronger
than it was before,' he said. 'Whatever you do in the gym, nothing gets
your body like doing 90 overs in the field so I'm a little bit scared of
waking up tomorrow.
'We've had these GPS things on today and mine shows I've done more than 16k, so I will be a little bit sore in the morning.'