In Brief

Shane Warne helped me destroy Australia, says Stuart Broad

Aussie spinner's reassuring words inspired English fast bowler ahead of his devastating spell at the Ashes

Australian bowling legend Shane Warne unwittingly inspired Stuart Broad to produce the most destructive spell of pace bowling ever by an Englishman during last summer's Ashes series.

Australia were routed for just 60 runs on the first morning of the Trent Bridge Test and Broad finished with the extraordinary figures of eight for 15 from 9.3 overs.

The player recounts his spell in the 2016 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, his reminiscences reproduced in the Daily Telegraph, and lets slip that Warne inadvertently helped calm his nerves ahead of the match.

England's usual strike bowler, Jimmy Anderson, was injured, leaving Broad to lead the bowling attack.

"Even after several days of mentally adjusting to his new role, the thought was still making Broad more nervous than usual," writes Scyld Berry in the Telegraph. "Anderson had always been there - and Broad had not bowled the first over of a Test for four years."

The "pressure increased" when captain Alastair Cook won the toss and took the unusual decision to bowl first, having earlier warned the team that the initial hour would hold the key to the match. It was now up to Broad to make sure that went England's way.

Help came from an unexpected quarter – England's old nemesis, Warne.

"The whole day started with me thinking we should bat," says Broad. "But when I was marking my run-up, Shane Warne walked past and said, 'What do you reckon?' I said, 'I like batting first at Trent Bridge, but there's a bit more grass on this pitch than normal.' And he said, 'Even I might consider bowling today.' When he said that, I thought, 'Well, he's the biggest bat-first man ever, isn't he?' It made me believe bowling first was the right call."

The rest is history and an hour-and-a-half later, England were preparing to bat themselves.

Warne watched the carnage from the commentary box and at the time told Sky viewers: "I should have done a runner. There won't be many smiles in the Australian commentary box. It's hard to believe what you're seeing."

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