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Anderson absence will see Broad thrive on home ground

| 03.08.2015

Among the many joyous scenes for home fans in Birmingham last week, as England wrapped up a Test win over Australia in just three days to take a 2-1 lead in the series, there remained one potentially significant plus for Michael Clarke’s tourists.

That was the sight of Jimmy Anderson, so long England’s number one bowler, trudging from the field of play holding his side at the end of the second day.

A strain has robbed England of their leading man, and given Australia some hope where previously there was little.

With 10 series wickets to his name, Anderson will not get the chance to add to that at Trent Bridge – a ground where he has enjoyed so much success in the past. His involvement in a potentially crucial final encounter in the Oval is also in some doubt, meaning his odds for finishing as the series’ top wicket taker have gone out to 50/1.

But amid all the chat and debate over who will replace Anderson, not to mention the fanfare over Steven Finn’s stunning comeback, it’s worth remembering that England already posses a match-winning bowler in their ranks, and one who – with 12 wickets in the series – trails only Josh Hazlewood (on 14) in the running to finish as the top Ashes wicket-taker.

Stuart Broad is not only born and bred in Nottingham, but loves playing at Trent Bridge.

Since making his England debut in 2007, Broad has played on his home ground on six occasions while representing his country in Test cricket, claiming 25 wickets against batting line-ups from all over the globe: New Zealand, Pakistan, India, West Indies and of course Australia have all been victims to his bowling over the years.

Broad is no shrinking violet and is just the type of confident and steadfast character who will thrive when Alastair Cook shows no hesitation in throwing the 29-year-old the new ball.

His bold traits are almost Aussie-like, and indeed Broad takes great pleasure in being the one England player who winds the Australian fans up the wrong way.

It’s worth remembering that it was at Trent Bridge when he refused to walk in 2013, an incident that caused so much ire Down Under that Oz newspapers refused to print his name.

Added to the rumours that a wayward Hazlewood (the 2/1 fav) may be dropped in favour of Peter Siddle, and the odds on Broad finishing as the series’ top wicket taker at 7/2 look even more attractive.

Broad’s form with the bat also looks like returning to his former glories, having scored a crucial 31 alongside Moeen Ali in the first innings at Birmingham.

Crucially his career average of 22 almost doubles on his home ground, with an average of 40 and a high score of 65. Should he manage to continue his Nottingham hot streak with bat and ball then, his price of 14/1 to be named Man of the Match looks an increasingly tempting shout.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alexis James