Stuart Broad: The all-rounder that never was

Broad impressed with both bat and ball on day two of the fifth Test against India. However, such performances in one of the two disciplines have been few and far between in the last seven years.

England look set to conclude their summer Test series with India as comfortable 4-1 winners after a decisive second day at The Oval.

Yet they were struggling going into the morning session at 198-7 and looked unlikely to reach 250 when Adil Rashid was dismissed after the hosts added just 16 more to their overnight total..

Stuart Broad trudged to the crease as the number ten and was not expected to hang around for long, to the point that the Sky Sports commentary team were perplexed at Jos Buttler's decision not to hog the strike. Yet Broad, believe or not, was once tipped to be the next Andrew Flintoff and a star England all-rounder...

"I think he will become a world class all-rounder"

Broad made his One Day International debut in 2006 before being selected for the Test side a year later. Yet he came of age under an England cap during the 2009 Ashes as the age of just 23.

Just four years previous, Flintoff had been the star of the show for his nation. Yet it was Broad who took the mantle in this series, claiming the most wickets in the England squad and chipping in with valuable runs.

Flintoff ended the battle for the urn by proclaiming "over to you, Stuart" as he officially declared Broad as the next star all-rounder for the nation. Andy Flower, then Team Director, suggested: "I think he will become a world class all-rounder. We have seen skills with the ball and flashes with the bat."

Broad continued his form across the next couple of years with a particular highlight formulated in 2011 when he scored 169 against Pakistan. At that point, Broad had ambitions of averaging over 30 with the bat and under 30 with the ball by the time his career finished...

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No half-century in 121 One Day Internationals

His bowling has continued to go from strength to strength, breaking into the top ten Test wicket takers of all time. Yet his form has been a complete contrast with the bat.

A broken nose in 2014, from a ball that squeezed through his helmet, did his confidence no favours as runs dried up and he dropped down the batting order. The tactic to 'bounce out' Broad became one of the worst kept secrets in modern Test cricket. During the last Ashes in 2017, he reclaimed an unwanted record of the most ducks in English history.

His Test average is now just 19.51 and his ODI equivalent is a mere 12.30. He hasn't scored a half-century in 121 50-over matches for his country and has a top score of just 18 in 56 Twenty20 international matches. His average in that format is below eight.

Once the 'David Beckham of English cricket'

This series hasn't been much better either. 0, 17, 20, 0, 11 and 1.

Yet his 98-run partnership with Buttler, of which Broad made 38 as he attacked confidently and left balls well, has turned the game in favour of the hosts. Broad then immediately set England on their way with the ball as he took a wicket with his first delivery of the innings.

At 32, it is perhaps too late for Broad to make a comeback as England's next star all-rounder, particularly with the likes of Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes jostling for that mantle. 

But Broad's patient and well-constructed innings against the run of play gave us a glimpse of what could have been for the man once described as the 'David Beckham of English cricket.'