Stuart Broad admits England’s busy schedule over the next two months would make it a “big ask” for him to feature in every Test this summer.
Broad is part of the squad that will face Ireland in a one-off test at Lord’s, starting a week on Thursday before preparing for a six-game Ashes series against Australia by the end of July.
The 36-year-old tailor – who is England’s second-best Test wicket-taker behind team-mate James Anderson – acknowledged that some element of squad rotation, particularly among bowlers, will be inevitable.
“I try not to think too far ahead,” Broad told Sky Sports. “You just have to attack every week that comes your way, but ultimately six Test matches in seven weeks is a pretty big ask.
“I can’t think of many times in my career they’ve come so thick and so fast. In test cricket you have to give your heart and soul to every ball when you’re in the field and that will be my commitment to the group.
“Whether it means one test match, three test matches or six, I’m going to give it my all. At the end of the day as bowlers we want to be fit and fresh now, but also for the last test of the summer at the ‘Oval.
“So it’s going to be about managing workloads and making sure whoever walks in the park is ready to go for that week. and making sure we have enough bowlers in six or seven weeks as well.”
England’s bowling department received a boost ahead of the Ireland Test when a scan gave Ollie Robinson the green light, despite an ankle problem which forced him to withdraw from the Sussex County Championship game against Glamorgan last weekend.
Robinson’s fitness is good news, especially as England are already resigned to facing Ireland and Australia without fellow County side Jofra Archer, who is ruled out all summer due to a stress fracture in the elbow.
“We all know the great strength that Jofra brings to the group,” Broad said. “During the IPL he was managing his elbow and it was obviously causing him some discomfort.
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“It’s devastating for him but also for us as a group because as cricket fans you want to see the best deliver their skills.
“I was half way through that time when he played against Steve Smith at Lord’s (in 2019) and it was wonderful to watch and experience. Now his focus is on getting ready for the 50 World Cup years in October and I fully believe he will.”
Broad was also in action for the County Championship last weekend, with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge – while his beloved Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal to secure the Premier League just across the road Saturday.
“It’s one of my favorite things, playing at Trent Bridge with Forest at the City Ground. We had all the red shirts before kick-off and then they walked 200 yards to watch Forest score three points and stay in Premier League.” he added.
“As a fan, it’s been an absolute joy all season. I think the biggest credit goes to Steve Cooper and all the players who bought into the philosophy so quickly, and to our owners who supported Steve Cooper all the way.
“The connection between Steve and the fans is truly unique and now we can look forward to a rebuilding summer to hopefully extend our time as a Premier League club.”
Watch all the Ashes men’s and women’s matches live sky sports. You can also follow overlaid video and text commentary on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. Live coverage of the first test is live June 16-20 Sky Sports Cricket.