We've had a punch in the face… but we're ready to fight back
Cycle clip: Broad exercises in the Dubai sun as England look to battle back after losing the first Test to Pakistan
England's all-rounder gives his exclusive insight into the aftermath of his side’s abject first Test defeat against Pakistan, and reveals how the world’s No 1 team plan to hit back in the second Test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
We were very, very disappointed with ourselves after the first Test.
The thing was, our bowling and fielding was as good as it has been at any time in the last few years, but you are not going to win many Tests if you lose five wickets in the first session of the match.
I still felt we were back in it after
Pakistan’s first innings because our batsmen have shown that they can
go very big in the second innings, especially as the wicket was pretty
flat, but we made far too many mistakes. It wasn’t like it was seaming
Having two players caught down the leg side, for instance, is not down to the wicket or the quality of the bowling.
What went wrong
We didn’t adapt to the conditions as well as we have done in the past. Saeed Ajmal didn’t bowl any ‘jaffas’ but he ended up with seven wickets in the first innings.
There’s been a lot of chat about him, his action and how we played him. And the bottom line is that we played him very poorly.
He certainly didn’t get into our heads with all this talk about a new delivery. That just reminded us of Shane Warne and all the zooters and other new tricks he apparently had up his sleeve.
There was no mystery or magic from Ajmal. And there didn’t seem to be a ‘teesra’ either. We just have to play him a lot straighter, like Matt Prior did.
Umar Gul took wickets in the second innings, but again I think it was more down to us than him.
Fortunate: Umar Gul profited from England's poor batting
As a bowler you don’t walk off thinking you’re a hero if you have two caught down the leg side and a couple of other soft dismissals.
It wasn’t all bad
I was chuffed with the way I bowled, actually. I’ve been out for a little while with injury and it was nice to hit my straps.
The ball with which I got left-hander Taufeeq Umar particularly pleased me.
You are unlikely to take five for 40 in these conditions so you have to sit in, create chances and aim to end up with three or four for 60.
What pleased us is that we got wickets with good balls. There were no ‘gimmes’. Yes, the wicket was pretty flat but there was actually a little bit more in it than we expected, a bit of seam and swing.
It’s so important that you use the new ball well here, and that may be even more pertinent in Abu Dhabi where the wicket is said to be very flat.
Gone: Broad bowled Taufeeq Umar
Perhaps in some sides the bowlers would have been grumpy at the batsmen after a match like that, but we are all in this together.
There have been plenty of times over the last couple of years when the bowlers have been in the dressing room watching for three days while the batsmen bat on.
We’ve talked about what happened here and we are all disappointed for each other. You hurt one member of this England team and we are all hurt. And believe me, we have been hurting.
It’s how we hit back now. You can make mistakes once, and learn from them, but if you make the same ones again then you have a problem. After each of the heavy defeats we have always hit back strongly. We have to do it again.
It Wasn’t all down to us
Pakistan looked a very professional unit. They were very chirpy in the field, and to be fair we gave them plenty to be chirpy about.
They impressed us with the way they went about their business.
Professional unit: Broad was impressed with Pakistan
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We did not under-estimate them, believe me, and anyone who knows their cricket would realise how tough this series was going to be. What we have to do is focus on what has made us a good team.
It’s only the second defeat in a Test I’ve been involved in since Headingley 2009 and it’s a feeling I don’t want to experience too often. Adversity can give you a hunger to put it right.
There’s one thing I really want to say in this column – the England fans were absolutely magnificent.
There are not too many Barmy Army or other supporters out here – I think most are saving their money for Sri Lanka – but the ones who made the journey were amazing.
To hear them singing ‘we’re going to win 2-1’ immediately after the defeat gave us quite a lift at a time when we were feeling heartbroken.
Anyone can jump on a bandwagon when you’re winning, but the real dedication and support comes when you have a setback.
No boos, just encouragement, and I want them to know how much we appreciated that. I think they know that we’re a good team with the character to bounce back. We have to prove that they are right.
The only time I have played at the Abu Dhabi ground was in a Twenty20 warm-up game against the England Lions when I handed Craig Kieswetter his international career by dropping a dolly off him!
He went on to a big score and was then picked for the World Twenty20 team. What I remember from that was that the sky was so incredibly blue it was hard to pick the ball up at times.
We’ve had a setback but there’s still everything to play for, starting with the second Test. We have had a punch in the face and it is up to us to come back with a counter-punch. We need to be emotional and passionate but we have to mix that with logic and clarity against their bowlers. We will come out fighting on Wednesday.