We can save follow-on, says Broad

London: Stuart Broad thinks a 'mental switch-off' from England on Day II of the second Ashes Test at Lord's has allowed Australia to take command. The visitors were in complete command having put up close to 600 runs on board before reducing the hosts to 30 for four.

Captain Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes have so far stitched 55 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket, as a lot relies on the duo if England are to keep themselves alive in this rubber.

The pacer, though, remains hopeful that his team can avoid the follow-on, as the wicket still appears to be playing pretty well. That England regrouped towards the end of the day through Cook (21 not out) and Stokes (38 not out) is a major positive, Broad believes.

Broad, who had earlier finished with four wickets, conceding 83 runs, said the fifth-wicket stand had given the England team plenty of heart. Asked what the mood was in the dressing room, Broad, talking to a television channel, said: "It's brighter, especially after the application that Cooky and Stokesy showed at the end.

"It's given the guys a lot of hope that there's not too many demons in this wicket. I'm confident we can save the follow-on.

"Australia batted well and anyone who's played a lot of cricket or watched a lot of cricket will realise that if you've been in the field for that length of time, there are always tricky periods. It was probably a mental switch-off for 20 minutes that hurt us with those four wickets.

"We probably didn't switch to the game plan that we talked about and just mentally switched off for a period of time, which in Test match cricket you can't afford to do.

"As soon as Cooky and Stokesy showed their steel, it's begun to look a bit slow and flat again. We're hoping for blue skies tomorrow and we have a clear job, which is to avoid the follow-on."

Australia's highly rated pace attack was impressive as England struggled initially. Talking about this aspect, Broad added: "They bowled really well today. When you've got a lot of scoreboard pressure and 30 overs to bowl, you can fly in for one spell."


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