Is Stuart Broad just making excuses for England’s recent poor performances with the ball, or does he have a point when he says that the “wickets have been overly flat, it’s not been a fair battle between bat and ball and it doesn’t make for exciting cricket“?
Probably a bit of both. A side that gives up the world record number of extras is clearly struggling (not all of them can be blamed on Prior), but a series that has already seen four innings over 500 in less than four tests suggests that the pitches have been too flat (when they haven’t been unplayable).
Flat pitches were also an issue in the tragically-cut-short series in Pakistan, and are increasingly an issue for Test cricket as a whole. Against the backdrop of shorter forms of the game increasingly favouring bat over ball, the delicate balance at the heart of the game is in danger of being lost.
I know that this is hardly a novel or original point, and a fair amount of sour grapes may be behind Broad’s frustration, but I think the powers that be need to keep their eye on the ball – and not just the bat.