Broad holds no grudges, says criticism was deserved

Several pundits questioned Stuart Broad's place in England's team ahead of the Melbourne Test, but the seamer said: "I deserved criticism."

Stuart Broad appeals on day two of the fourth Ashes Test   -  Getty Images

Stuart Broad enjoyed a welcome return to form on day two of the fourth Ashes Test, before insisting he holds no grudges against those who have called for him to be dropped by England.

Broad returned 4-61 - his best figures of 2017 - as Australia collapsed from an overnight score of 244-3 to 327 all out at the MCG on Wednesday.

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England then made excellent progress in reply, Alastair Cook offering a riposte to his critics by contributing an unbeaten 104 to a total of 192-2.

In an end-of-day news conference, Broad was asked about the comments of former England skipper Michael Vaughan, who had questioned the seamer's place in the side.

"I've always had this appreciation that people are doing their jobs, you've got to say your opinion and I deserved criticism after Perth, that's for sure," said Broad.

"To be honest, I've had one of those weeks where you get your tin hat on, duck down and don't see much. I'm very unaware of things being written. I had to go to that place when you find something within yourself and build yourself back up again. You can get yourself in a dark place.

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"I'm not going to hold any grudges if people slag me off because in 15 years' time I might be doing the same [as a pundit] – [but] not in six months!"

In relation to Vaughan's comments, a laughing Broad added: "Only two weeks ago I was on holiday with him so I don't know what he's been saying."

The 31-year-old credited a chat with assistant coach Paul Collingwood as a contributing factor to his improved display in Melbourne.

"I worked incredibly hard this week, physically and mentally. I did some work looking at certain things trying to get my rhythm back," Broad added.

"I spent time with Colly chatting through my strengths, a bit of mental stuff in there. I'm a better bowler when I'm thinking attackingly. I probably fell into the mental trap of looking not to concede runs instead of taking wickets.

"All you can do is make sure your work ethic is always at the top. In Perth I wasn't as competitive as I should have been. It's something I looked at and wanted to improve at the MCG."

Broad and Cook had each faced heavy criticism, but the former said: "I don't think you play this amount of international sport without some sort of deep inner self-confidence that you can find when you're very low.

"Both of us have put in two strong performances and we need three more fantastic days to win this Test match."

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