Nottingham: Stuart Broad will be back on his home ground when the second Test against the West Indies starts on Friday, with the seamer keen to follow up last year's Trent Bridge triumph.
In 2011 the 25-year-old paceman took a hat-trick against India at Nottinghamshire's headquarters as England won the second Test by 319 runs. "That was definitely one of the highlights of my career," Broad said on Wednesday. "I love playing at Trent Bridge. It's a fantastic ground. The home support is brilliant and looking back to last summer it was great to get the win."
Broad, recalling his hat-trick, added: "We got the new ball when India were in a very strong position and when the sun is out, Trent Bridge can play very well for the batsmen. Rahul Dravid played particularly well for his hundred. I remember Straussy [England captain Andrew Strauss] said, 'Let's go for broke, let's try to hit the stumps. 'Don't worry too much about the runs because we need to make some breakthroughs.' Fortunately that worked me," he added.
With the tourists on 273 for 5 in reply to England's first innings 221, Broad had India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught for five. Next ball Harbhajan Singh was lbw and the ball after Broad bowled Praveen Kumar. "I don't think it could have been much better," Broad said. "It was a Saturday evening about 5:00 pm [1600 GMT], the crowd was really lively. It went wild. The atmosphere was incredible when I bowled Kumar."
Now Broad, the son of former Nottinghamshire and England opening batsman Chris, is looking for more Test success at Trent Bridge where England will look to consolidate their position as the world's number one ranked Test team. He comes into the middle leg of this three-match series having taken 11 for 165, including a Test-best seven for 72 in England's five-wicket first Test win over the West Indies at Lord's concluded on Monday.
That performance helped propel Broad to joint-third in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test bowling rankings alongside his England new-ball partner James Anderson. England off-spinner Graeme Swann is fifth in a list headed by South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is set to tour England later in the season. "To have Swanny [Swann], Jimmy [Anderson] and myself all in the top five is testament to how far we've come as a team," Broad said. "Jimmy and I work together on most aspects of our bowling so for us both to be in the top three or four is brilliant for both of us. It's an honour to be up there.
"In international cricket you always have to be at the top of your game and keep performing," added Broad, who has now taken 158 wickets in 46 Tests at a shade over 30 apiece. "You keep pushing yourself in training to get better. Having the strength of competition that we have is important in that. Someone like Steven Finn would be in most Test teams in the world at the moment and he's having to wait patiently for his opportunity."