Broad hopes for Windies tonic
Novice 50-over captain Stuart Broad is hoping Ashley Giles' "back-to-basics" regime can pay off with a much-needed victory over the West Indies to kick-start England's new era.
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Broad is leading the tourists in three one-day internationals at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the first on Friday, before returning to his 'day job' in charge of the Twenty20 team for three more fixtures against the Windies in Barbados and then a short-format World Cup in Bangladesh.
It is a step into the unknown in that 27-year-old Broad has only captained once in any 50-over match - England's warm-up win over a UWI Vice-Chancellor's XI on Tuesday at the same venue.
But there is little leeway for a learning process, because England simply must put some wins on the board as soon as possible after their miserable sequence of 12 defeats and a solitary victory across the formats against Australia this winter.
Broad is heartened at least to have coach Giles' expertise on board, even if the former Ashes-winning spinner can be a hard taskmaster.
He said: "He's great. He's pretty relaxed but does set high goals for us and expects a lot from us.
"He's really coming down hard on us on what he expects ... things like not bowling no-balls in training because that can affect your length in matches.
"He's gone back to basics in making the players expect more of themselves in training to put into practice in games."
Broad's squad, a Twenty20 specialist one in view of the imminent global tournament set to start as soon as this short tour is over, has reacted well so far to Giles' urgings.
"The guys have really enjoyed the first five or six days," said the captain.
"It's been hard work, but we knew it was going to be physically hard work and were expecting it.
"Hard work brings you closer.
"Doing fitness sessions together, you drive each other on - so team bonds grow."
Giles spoke, before England departed, of a Caribbean 'boot camp' - and has been true to his word.
Physical fitness will take his team only so far, though, and Broad knows tactics - geographically specific to the Windies - will have to be spot on too.
They were, memorably, in England's ICC World Twenty20 win in this part of the world four years ago - and Broad will be revisiting some of those tricks.
"We were all a bit surprised how windy it was the other day and how much that affected which area the batsmen targeted," he said.
"We used that pretty wisely, and looking back to the World Twenty20 in 2010 we used that pretty wisely (then too).
"We bowled into the deck and got the batsmen trying to hit into the wind, and I think that will be applicable on this tour as well."
Broad is used to juggling his bowlers for 20 overs, and is still attuning himself to a slightly more ordered tempo.
"It was my first 50-over match as captain (on Tuesday), so it was good to get one in before the internationals," he said.
"I think you can actually be a bit more patient in 50-over cricket and certainly let the spinners roll a bit."
Broad's England will also be concentrating on stepping up in two particular facets over the next week.
The gameplan in home conditions at last year's Champions Trophy - in which England were beaten finalists - was to 'take the game deep'.
That entailed losing as few wickets as possible so they could unleash their big hitters, with impunity, in the final 20 overs.
Here, runs on the board early will be more important.
"You look at that Champions Trophy - when we had a lot of success through, not being defensive, but stacking it up at the back end," Broad added.
"When you play abroad, as was evident in Australia, you can't be 130 after 30 - you've got to look to be more like 160, so you're not as reliant on people like Morgs (Eoin Morgan) and (Jos) Buttler to get us up towards 300.
"I think there's a bit of change in mindset to push our score a bit beyond 130 after the first 30 (overs) to take a bit of pressure off the guys at the end.
"We've got world-class players there, but you can't expect them to do it every time."
England's plan A was apparently to field the same team which won here two days ago.
But key middle-order man Morgan had to sit out nets on Thursday, having hurt his left knee fielding against the VC XI, and the tourists may also consider picking a second specialist spinner after seeing the surface favour James Tredwell last time.
Whoever gets the nod among the bowlers will be under strict instruction to tailor skills to conditions here - and in the sub-continent to come.
"I think our death bowling is somewhere where we need our skills to improve," said frontline seamer Broad.
"Of course, that comes with yorkers and our 'change-ups' - and that will also help us in Bangladesh.
"The pitches there can be pretty good to bat on, so getting up in the (block)hole is important."