Birmingham: Despite Usman Khawaja’s brilliant century on the second day of the first Test of Ashes 2023, England pacer Stuart Broad feels that the game is nicely poised and they are one or two wickets away from the tailenders of Australian batting line-up.
Khawaja’s superb unbeaten 126, his 15th career century but his first in Tests in England, and his vital partnerships with Travis Head (50) and Alex Carey (52 not out) helped Australia finish Day 2 Saturday at 311/5, trailing England by 82 with five wickets remaining.
“The game is nicely poised: we’re one or two wickets away from the tail. It’s been a hard, gruelling day on a pitch that’s offered very little so far, but for us, being 90-odd ahead with five wickets to get, and trying to get in a position where we’re not batting last on that pitch is a really positive place to be,” Broad told the BBC’s Test Match Special, after the end of second day’s play.
However, the 36-year old pacer was not pleased with the errors committed by England.
He said there was “no excuse” for his no-ball that bowled Khawaja, one of four England errors on the second day of Ashes 2023’s first Test. Khawaja was on 112 when Broad overstepped.
“It’s really frustrating. I got tight to the line and it was a close decision,” said Stuart Broad.
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow also missed two chances behind the stumps. Bairstow, preferred behind the stumps to Ben Foakes, missed a stumping off Cameron Green’s second ball, with the all-rounder going on to make 38 in a stand of 72 with Khawaja.
Then, Alex Carey was dropped on 26 by Bairstow and missed on 46 by Root. Carey remains unbeaten on 52, his partnership with Khawaja worth an unbroken 91.
“We did create enough chances to probably bowl Australia out today, but also, really it doesn’t strike me as a sort of pitch on day two where you would be looking to get 10 wickets in a day,” said Stuart Broad.