'It made me the competitor I am today' - Broad recalls lessons from Yuvraj's six 6s
What would've been a nightmarish experience at the time, Stuart Broad recalls being hit for six 6s by Yuvraj Singh at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 as the turning point of his career now.
The English fast-bowling giant, who announced his retirement from international cricket at the brink of the completion of Ashes 2023 this Saturday (July 29), reminisced Yuvraj's brutal assault against him in Durban as the moment that transformed him into a mentally tougher nut and "made me the competitor I am today".
Broad was yet to cut his teeth properly as one of the leading England Test match seamers when he came face to face with Yuvraj in his pomp for the Super 8 encounter of the first-ever men's T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Back in T20 cricket's infancy, when defensive bowling strength wasn't a concept as developed and intrinsic to plans for pacers and spinners as it is today, the young fast-bowler ended up attempting six failed yorkers on the bounce and was duly dispatched by Yuvraj, who stood deep inside his crease, ready to unleash his legendary downswing on anything near the arc.
Broad recalls Yuvraj's Durban assault as moment of reckoning
There was no slower off-cutter or wide full-pitcher to try and avoid the sweet part of Yuvraj's bulky willow. Over time, Broad would've learnt to upskill his arsenal when faced up to such rampaging batsmanship in limited-overs cricket. But an even bigger lesson was to not stand completely lost under pressure and develop mental strength that allowed him to think more clearly on his feet.
Recalling it as a moment of reckoning and tuning point in a press conference after Day 3 of The Oval Test against Australia, Broad said he quickly learnt to be apologetic towards his 21-year-old's self and made it a point never to again rush "my preparations" and planning when the opposition went after him under pressure.
"Yeah it (being hit by Yuvraj for six 6s) was obviously a pretty tough day," Broad said. "What would I have been? 21 or 22? I learnt loads. I pretty much based a whole mental routine through that experience (for the rest of my career), knowing that I was left very short (in terms of adequate response as a bowler) as an international performer in that moment."
'It made me the competitor I am today'— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) July 30, 2023
Stuart Broad reflects on Yuvraj Singh's 6 sixes against him 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/MoVNGvV1Lh
"I'd rushed my preparation. I didn't have any sort of pre-ball routine. I didn't have any focus particularly and I started building my 'warrior mode' that I call it after that experience. So ultimately, of course I wish it didn't happen, (but) I think what really helped me was that it was a dead rubber (England were eliminated) so I didn't feel it knocked-out us out of the World Cup."
"But I think it steeled me up to make me the competitor I am to this day and has driven me forward a huge amount. You obviously go through massive peaks and troughs and when you look at someone like Stokesy's (Ben Stokes) career, he's done that as well (referring to 2016 T20 World Cup final). But ultimately I think it's (about) that bouncebackability, and that ability to put bad days behind you."