Stuart Broad says the discussion around his place in the England side has not fazed him, as the Nottinghamshire seamer continues to lead his country’s attack in the absence of the injured James Anderson.
Despite enjoying one of the most prolific English summers of his career, the 33-year-old’s place has in the XI for the Test series in South Africa was still called into question in some quarters before Anderson suffered a rib injury.
But the right-armer says he’s become accustomed to paper talk about his career.
“I get questioned all the time – it’s not a problem,” he said.
“Sometimes, it’s very valid, but I’d argue that for anyone to say that I’m not performing based on this past calendar year – that is incorrect. My current numbers are better than my career average.
“If a striker in the Premier League averaged 18 goals a season and this season he had scored 24, he wouldn’t get questioned, would he? So that’s my mindset.
“When you’ve been playing international cricket for a long time you do get a protective barrier around you and you don’t let things affect you.”
Broad has been ever-present in England’s winter series so far, but is conscious that the national side’s hierarchy are keen to rotate their pacemen.
“Chris Silverwood and Rooty [skipper Joe Root] have been clear that with the amount of cricket we play there is going to have to be some sort of rotation at times,” he said.
“It is unrealistic to think that a seamer can play every single Test in a year, so you do need a battery of fast bowlers, but I know that in a pressure scenario, I can still deliver when conditions are in my favour.
“If I get left out for rotation or they believe the pitch is not suitable, that’s OK. As long as they’re not going, “You’re gone and you’re done” because I still feel I have a lot to offer.”
Whilst his erstwhile new-ball partner may be sidelined at present, Broad is quick to take inspiration from Anderson’s longevity as he moves towards 150 Tests – even though he is aware that further time at the top is not guaranteed.
“The first time I ever thought about that was about three years ago when I read one of Roy Keane’s books and he said he got more determined when he got to 30,” he said.
“Every time he played in the FA Cup, he thought it could be his last time to win it. It was the first time I had ever thought about that mindset.
“You can’t look too far ahead, but why not have a crack at Australia again?
“I had a great time this summer. We didn’t win the series, but it was an amazing series to be involved in.
“I watched Jimmy walk off with five for 40 at Cape Town at 37. He was getting a lot of stick here four years ago. I’m watching him walk off and I’m thinking: that’s inspiring.”
Test cricket returns to Trent Bridge in August 2020, with Pakistan taking on England from 20-24 August. Secure your seats here...