Stuart Broad wants England to be involved in an Ashes triumph that equals the celebrated 2005 campaign even though the veteran seamer is hoping to avoid a repeat of the dramatic finale at Edgbaston of 18 years ago.
Broad struck twice late on Monday before Australia ended the fourth day of the first Test on 107-3, needing a further 174 runs to reach the 281 they require for victory on Tuesday’s final day.
The target is one run fewer than Australia were set in a stunning finale at the Birmingham ground 18 years ago, when England prevailed by just two runs en route to a 2-1 series triumph.
“You can tell this group is massively inspired and motivated by that series,” Broad said. “It’s great the series are being related because 2005 inspired our group to want to play and win Ashes series …
“If the series can be half as good as that one I think we’ll be inspiring the nation.
“But I’m not sure we want [this Test] going to two runs [on Tuesday]. Hopefully, it doesn’t get as close as that and we get a few wickets early because that won’t do much for the heart, will it?”
After England were all out for 273, Usman Khawaja and David Warner got Australia off to a steady start on a slow surface.
But after Ollie Robinson dismissed Warner for 36, fellow seamer Broad took the outside edges of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, No 1 and 2 in the Test batting rankings respectively, to reignite England’s victory bid.
“It’s all set up to be a fantastic day,” Broad said. “We’re obviously delighted to have Warner, Marnus and Smith back in the pavilion because they’re world-class players.
“But we know the Aussies have got a lot of danger to come so we’ve got to be right on the money.”
Australia’s Nathan Lyon said there was no escaping the memories of the 2005 Edgbaston epic.
“I’ve obviously seen the game,” he said. “It’s always on Sky Sports here in England. They only seem to have a couple on replay!
“This is the type of cricket we want to play. We want to play in tight series, it’s exciting to be a part of.”
© Agence France-Presse