England pacer Stuart Broad is of the opinion that lack of red-ball preparation will cause a lot more injuries, and believes he will not be the ‘last England injury of the series’. Broad featured in the first Test in Nottingham, but suffered a severe leg-injury in training two days ahead of the second Test, the seriousness of which ended up ruling him out of the entire series.
But in his column for the Daily Mail, the 35-year-old wrote that he foresees more injuries to the English seamers, most of whom have had no red-ball preparation heading into the five-Test series. Broad’s replacement, Saqib Mahmood (who has now been released), was drafted into the Test squad directly from The Hundred, and according to the 149-Test veteran, thin workloads will make fast bowlers susceptible to injury.
“Sadly, I won’t be the last England injury of this series — not with the GPS ‘red zones’ as they are for players right now,” Broad wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“The difficulty with the 2021 schedule being so white-ball dominant is that bowlers have just not built up overs in the bank. Say Saqib Mahmood had been drafted in for this Test.
“He hasn’t played a red-ball game for 10 weeks and it’s very difficult to play a four or five-day match without some kind of workload behind you. It’s why bowlers do not come back from injury and play straight away.
“At that point, your body is in what we call the red zone. A point at which you are susceptible to breaking down. It needs to be conditioned to bowling a greater volume of overs over time. Unfortunately, the way the fixtures are there is no way of doing that.”
To tackle this complication, Broad believes that players might have to find ‘unique’ ways to prepare the body to resist the workload.
“I feel for the coaching staff as they are having to balance the fitness of their players around the schedule, which is very tricky. But it is what it is, and we will need to find a way around that because it’s going to be like that for the rest of my career.
“There will be a responsibility on players to find unique ways to ready the body for fielding and fast bowling. That might be staying on your feet for seven hours in a row.”
The leg injury means that Broad will miss the rest of the home summer, but the 35-year-old claimed that this layoff will enable him to be in the best shape of his career by the time the Ashes beckons.
“The one positive I take out of a calf injury ruling me out of the rest of the summer is that I will get the chance to go to Australia in peak physical condition.
“The Ashes gives me a very strong focus and there is no reason why I cannot board the plane in November the fittest I’ve ever been. I never get a period in which I can just go to the gym, not worry about having to bowl, just train the body. That’s now my aim,” Broad further wrote.