Stuart Broad knows England players must win a mental battle against West Indies

Stuart Broad prepares to bowl during England's training camp.Stuart Broad prepares to bowl during England's training camp.
Stuart Broad prepares to bowl during England's training camp.
Nottinghamshire paceman Stuart Broad admits he has to win the mental battle during England’s upcoming test series with the West Indies.

England will face the West Indies in the first test at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on 8th July behind closed doors.

And the veteran wicket-taker knows that the lack of usual match conditions will bring a unique set of challenges.

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“The games will feel a bit different with no crowds,” he said. “It will be more of a mental test to make sure each player is right up for the battle.

“I am very aware of that and the need to create a mindset around getting my emotions where they need to be to perform to my best.

“If you put me in an Ashes game or a pre-season friendly, I know which one I will perform better in.

“I have to make sure my emotions are where they need to be for an international test match and that is something I started working on in early June.

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“It is like creating a bubble around yourself as an individual and what little things give you that competitive edge.

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“That might involve doing even more research into the opposition batsmen’s strengths and weaknesses so I am getting into a competitive battle with the batter instead of relying on the crowd to get the emotions going.

“For me I will go through a similar routine, leading into a spell, so that I am physically and mentally switched on to what I’m doing. It is going to be a different challenge for everybody.”

A 30-strong England camp has currently been living, training and playing at the Ageas Bowl.

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The training group will play a three-day inter-squad match on Wednesday (1st July) before the squad is named for the first test.

And with places up for grabs, the intensity has been at its usual level.

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“It’s great to know we have a game of cricket coming up soon,” added Broad. “We are all just excited to play cricket now.

“We are still going full-on in training, it has been nice and intense.

“We are all pushing for places and the coaches want us to control that intensity a bit.

“We are trying to build up nicely into the warm up game.”