Broad faces practice dilemma
Stuart Broad believes England must keep their minds fresh to perform well against South Africa
England travelled to Manchester on Sunday morning knowing they must keep minds fresh if they are to bounce back from a second successive seven-wicket defeat against South Africa.
Captain Stuart Broad resisted the notion of compulsory nets for a squad who can ill afford another off-colour performance at Old Trafford as they gear up for the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown. Broad is wary of insisting on more practice, in a situation where he senses mental refreshment might be most beneficial.
"It's a tricky time of year," he said. "You don't want to be netting all the time, because we've had quite a long cricket season; you've got to actually manage your time well."
He added: "Whether going to the nets and doing certain things is the best thing to do, we'll have a discussion about; or whether getting away and actually having a think about what we do (is better)."
England repeated the failings of their NatWest Series defeat at Trent Bridge last week, when they again failed to post a competitive target at the Emirates Durham ICG on Saturday.
They therefore trail 1-0 in a hectic series of three Twenty20s, which will be concluded on Wednesday night in Birmingham - hours before they fly to Sri Lanka, on Thursday morning, to take on the world again.
A series of batsmen - Ravi Bopara, in particular, is worryingly out of form - failed to do themselves justice as England registered the third-lowest Twenty20 total in their history at Chester-le-Street. Broad is not hiding from the truth about England's faulty batting in their last two attempts.
Bopara is simply way short of his best in recent times; but a succession of his team-mates got out to poor shots, or poor judgement. Even so, the captain will leave it to individuals how best to turn things round by Monday night.
"The boys have hit a lot of balls this summer," he said. "Maybe this was a mental switch-on, to someone batting through and taking responsibility.
"Whether hitting more balls is a good option, we'll have a look."