London: Fast bowler Stuart Broad has said that England would see the upcoming Test series against Pakistan as a challenging assignment and a preparatory for this year`s Ashes series Down Under.
In an article, Broad said: "It will be quite a challenge. I am making such a late start to my Test summer, of course, because I was left out of the Bangladesh series when the management wanted me to undertake a strength and conditioning programme, and we have been playing one-day cricket ever since I returned."
Stating that he was fresh and raring to have a go at Pakistan`s batters after what he termed a disappointing break from the matches against Bangladesh, Broad said: "I can fully understand why the decision was made. I feel stronger and really fit after what turned out to be a seven or eight-week weights programme - I extended it when I started bowling again - and I think I have added a bit of pace and bounce to my bowling as a result."
"I certainly felt strong when I played for Nottinghamshire last week and returned my best ever bowling figures of eight for 52 in our victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston. That absolutely delighted me because playing for Notts is very important," he said.
As far as Pakistan was concerned, he said: "Pakistan will clearly be a force to be reckoned with in the four Tests over the next month. But we are ready for this. The harder the challenge we face now, the better it is as far as looking ahead to an Ashes winter goes."
"We know we will be in a demanding series here, but it is only natural that thoughts should also be on the Ashes, especially as we have just played Australia in a one-day series and then saw them play Pakistan," he said.