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Stuart Broad sees psychologist before playing in empty grounds during England’s summer Tests

, Stuart Broad sees psychologist before playing in empty grounds during England’s summer Tests

STUART BROAD has been consulting a psychologist to make sure he is fully cranked up for England’s summer Tests.

The fast bowler wants to ensure his emotions will be working as normal — even though he will be performing in empty grounds.

Stuart Broadhas been seeing a psychologist as he prepares for Test cricket without fans

Broad normally bowls at his best on big occasions and revels in the feelings generated by passionate crowds.

So he says one tactic could be deliberately to target opposition batsmen rather than relying on spectators to get his juices flowing.

Broad, 34, explained: “International cricket will be a mental test to make sure each player is right up for the battle. I’m very aware of that.

“I’ve already spoken to our sports psychologist about creating a mindset to make sure I can get my emotions where they need to be.

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“If you put me in an Ashes Test or a pre-season friendly, I know which one I’ll perform better in.

“It’s a worry for me because I know I perform at my best when the game is at its most exciting and needs changing.

“I have to make sure I train my brain not to get into that mindset of ‘nothing is happening here’. I have to make sure my emotions are where they need to be for a Test match.”

England’s three-Test series against West Indies is scheduled to begin on July 8.

Broad added: “The last thing we want is to be walking out on July 8 feeling like things aren’t normal.

“It’s about finding what things give you that competitive edge.

“For a batsman, it might his walk to the middle is crucial to get the mind switched on.

“For me as a bowler, it will be going through a routine to make sure physically I’m up for the battle and mentally switched on.

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“It could involve doing even more research into the opposition batsmen’s strengths and weaknesses, so I’m focused on getting in a battle instead of relying on the crowd to get my emotions

“There will be times when the mind might drift because there’s no crowd but that’s where we have to be so strong and not let that happen.”

, Stuart Broad sees psychologist before playing in empty grounds during England’s summer Tests

Broad says he is going to deliberately target batsman as a way to keep himself locked in without spectators cheering him on

England’s players arrived at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton last Tuesday and could be in camp together for up to nine weeks — although team medics hope to allow some home visits during that

And Broad acknowledges the unusual situation presents unusual challenges.

He said: “We feel incredibly safe and so much work has gone into the detail.

“Although there are a lot of people here, we’re not seeing much of each other. We train in groups but otherwise we’re not really able to socialise.

“It feels strange being away from family and friends while in the UK. If players go through tricky times in this environment — have a bad spell, have a bad day or bad week — you can’t escape
the cricket.

“If you nick off first ball, you’re eating dinner overlooking the pitch that you’ve just nicked off on.

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“If we get this wrong, then we could lose against two very good teams in West Indies and later Pakistan.”

England have a well-stocked fast-bowling cupboard with the likes of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes.

But the old firm of Broad and Jimmy Anderson are likely to start the First Test.

Broad, who has 485 Test wickets, said: “We’ve been told the strongest team will be picked for the First Test.

“My fitness tests have been as strong as ever but we all know how hard fast bowling is.

“I trained with Mark Wood a couple of days ago and he bowled beautifully.

“We’ve all come here fit and fresh, which is rare for a fast- bowling group.”

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