'Shoeless, he walked towards me, his whole foot strapped' - Hussain applauds Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad's game-transforming spell late on Day 4 of the Ashes 2023 opener in Edgbaston earned him huge word of praise from former England captain turned commentator Nasser Hussain, who noted the bowler's resilience even as he began to tire out towards the fag end of the play.
Broad prized out the big wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in quick succession in another spirited and skillful burst with the ball to bring England back in the contest after a strong opening stand between David Warner and Usman Khawaja had threatened to take the chase of 281 runs away.
The experienced pacer reduced the Australians to 107/3 by stumps from a position of strength at 78/1 before his fiery spell in the final session. Getting rid of opposition's two best batters when the chips were down for his side and they stood desperate for breakthrough only reinforced Stuart Broad's wealth of quality and experience.
For Hussain, however, it is the bowler's sense of defiance under pressure and the keenness to continue improving despite approaching closer to the twilight of his career that stood out as he ran in with real purpose against the Aussies.
Nasser Hussain lauds Stuart Broad after fiery Ashes spell
Speaking to Sky Sports after the day's play, Hussain pointed out Stuart Broad's selfless attitude in continuing to run-in hard with the ball in hand even as had begun to tire out by the closure of his elongated spell. The 36-year-old, Hussain noted in his glowing praise, "was on his knees" in the final over of his memorable burst but kept "sprinting back to the end of his mark."
"You can see Broad cares about this, his ninth and possibly last Ashes series, as much if not more than his previous eight and his record against Australia is what he will be remembered for," the leading commentator said.
"Even at 36, he went away and worked behind the scenes to perfect the outswinger that did for Labuschagne and Smith in this fourth innings."
"And if you want to know how much Broad puts his body through, you should have seen his feet after the first innings. Shoeless, he walked towards me, his whole foot strapped, toenail falling off, blood seeping out of the bandages," he added.
Broad will be key to England's fortunes even on what promises to be a thrilling Day 5, with Australia still seven wickets intact, albeit with a longish tail, striving to chase down a further 174 runs.