London: Stuart Broad has said he`s ready to lead England`s attack as they bid for an Ashes-clinching win against Australia at his Trent Bridge home ground in the absence of James Anderson.
Broad is set to be England`s senior bowler in Nottingham after longtime new-ball partner Anderson was ruled out of the fourth Test with a side injury suffered during an eight-wicket win at Edgbaston on Friday that put the hosts 2-1 up in the five-match series.
Not only is Anderson England`s most successful Test bowler of all-time, with 413 wickets -- including an Ashes-best six for 47 at Edgbaston -- he also has a brilliant record at Trent Bridge.
The 33-year-old swing and seam bowler has taken 53 wickets in eight Tests there at an average of 19.24 with England`s victory in the 2013 Ashes Test at Trent Bridge yielding a 10-wicket haul for the Lancastrian.
But 29-year-old Nottinghamshire paceman Broad, a veteran of 82 Tests, is an experienced campaigner in his own right.
"In Jimmy`s absence it`s going to be up to all the other bowlers to step up," Broad told the Mail on Sunday.
"I`ve probably not got as many wickets as I`d have liked during this series (12 in three matches at 27.41 apiece) but I feel as if I`ve bowled the best I`ve bowled for a long time.
"You don`t know what`s going to happen but hopefully I`ll take on that extra responsibility to ensure we`re not crying out for Jimmy over the next couple of days," he added.
Broad heads into the Trent Bridge clash, which starts on Thursday, just one wicket away from becoming only the fifth England bowler to take 300 Test wickets after Anderson, Ian Botham, Bob Willis and the late Fred Trueman.
And having already scored more than 2,000 Test runs, including a best of 169 against Pakistan at Lord`s in 2010, Broad, the son of former England Ashes-winning opening batsman Chris Broad, is also in sight of a notable `double`.
"It would have been nice to have got there at Edgbaston but the chance to achieve it at Trent Bridge is incredibly exciting," he said.
"I`m told only 11 players have scored 2,000 runs and taken 300 wickets in the history of the (Test) game so it`s quite illustrious company."One of those players is Australia left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson, taunted mercilessly by the crowd as England surged to victory at Edgbaston on Friday.
But Broad insisted the mocking chants, which appeared to get to Johnson, were in fact a compliment.
"He gets masses of stick from the crowd but it`s a sign of how much respect there is for him...He gets stick out of respect. He`s a top cricketer," Broad said.
"You don`t boo someone you`re not interested in do you?"
Victory at Trent Bridge would give England a fourth successive home Ashes series win, something they haven`t achieved since Australia`s first away series win back in 1899.
But if they are to triumph in Nottingham, England will have to win two Tests in a row -- something that has so far proved beyond them this year.
Since drawing their series opener against the West Indies at Antigua in April, England`s next seven Tests have seen them alternate between winning and losing.
Trevor Bayliss, England`s Australian coach, has urged his side to be ruthless in Nottingham.
"Some of the Australians will be under pressure, as we were in this game, and we hope we will be able to build on that pressure in the next match and not let them up off the floor," he said.