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The Ashes 2023: Stuart Broad offers no excuses for England errors against Australia

Stuart Broad said there was “no excuse” for his no-ball that bowled Usman Khawaja, one of four England errors on the second day of the first Ashes Test.

Khawaja was on 112 when Broad overstepped and will begin day three on 126 with Australia 311-5, 82 behind.

Jonny Bairstow also missed two chances behind the stumps and there was an edge past slip Joe Root late on Saturday.

“It’s really frustrating,” Broad told Test Match Special. “I got tight to the line and it was a close decision.”

England collectively bowled 13 no-balls, their most in an innings since Ben Stokes took over as captain at the beginning of last summer. Broad was responsible for six of those, the most he has ever bowled in a Test innings.

On another compelling day at Edgbaston, England reduced Australia to 148-4 and 220-5 in response to the hosts’ 393-8 declared.

But Bairstow, preferred behind the stumps to Ben Foakes, missed a stumping off Cameron Green’s second ball, with the all-rounder going on to make 38 in a stand of 72 with Khawaja.

Then, Alex Carey was dropped on 26 by Bairstow and missed on 46 by Root. Carey remains unbeaten on 52, his partnership with Khawaja worth an unbroken 91.

“We did create enough chances to probably bowl Australia out today, but also, really it doesn’t strike me as a sort of pitch on day two where you would be looking to get 10 wickets in a day,” said Broad.

Michael Vaughan, who led England to Ashes victory in 2005, had concerns over their preparation for this series.

Bairstow has only been back playing for a month after nine months out with a broken leg, while Root had been a reserve for Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals for most of April and May.

England beat Ireland inside three days at the beginning of the month as their only warm-up for the Ashes, then some of the players spent the week before the first Test playing golf in Scotland.

“The concentration element of fielding and being out there for long periods, you get that by playing cricket and that’s my only concern,” said Vaughan.

“The freedom of the mind and the culture England have created is fantastic. I love it. But having the body prepared for longer periods, you only get that by playing cricket.

“England will be rueing four missed chances. On this pitch, which is very flat, my concern is their bodies. In that final session they looked jaded and this is their first day in the dirt of a five-match series over six weeks.”

Earlier in the day, Broad had his old nemesis David Warner chop onto the stumps to dismiss the Australia opener for the 15th time in Test cricket.

From the next ball, Broad found the outside edge of Marnus Labuschagne, with Bairstow taking a super catch.

And, despite the missed chances, the 36-year-old still believes England are in a strong position.

“We had a really good day,” he said. “The game is nicely poised. We are 82 runs ahead, one or two wickets away from the tail.

“It has been a hard gruelling day on a pitch that offered very little but being in this position is a really positive place to be.”

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