Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has declared himself ready to return from the side strain that ended his Ashes series after the first Test in early December.
Stuart Broad is expecting more of the same from the Gabba crowd, but not David Warner as the English veteran readies for the Australian opener’s best Ashes counterpunch.
The 35-year-old Broad has embraced his status as a pantomime villain ever since he chose not to walk after edging an Ashton Agar delivery in 2013.
Set to play in his 150th Test if selected next Wednesday, Broad says “even just having it mentioned gives me butterflies in my stomach”.
“It feels like a very Australian ground – it’s very pro-Australian,” he said of the Gabba during the final day of the side’s practice match at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane’s north on Friday.
“It will be even more so without the Barmy Army.
“But you just have to enjoy that experience.
“If you’re not walking onto that field buzzing and excited, looking up at the stand, looking up at the noise and smiling, you’re playing the wrong game.
“It’s those sort of moments you should really embrace and love.
“Whether the crowd are abusing you, singing, cheering, it doesn’t matter. It’s an amazing experience.”
Warner had no answer to Broad’s angle and movement off the pitch in the 2019 Ashes series in England, three consecutive ducks punctuating a 95-run series aggregate.
Averaging 9.5, Broad dismissed the pugnacious opener seven times.
But Broad knows it’s a different story in Australia, where Warner averages 63 compared to 26 in England.
“You have to go about it differently,” he said.
“I’ve got to take positives from what happened in England, but also realise it was a couple of years ago, conditions were different.
“Davey will have worked on things as I will have worked on things.
“We might have slightly different field settings, attack from a different angle, but I’m realistic.”
Sun greeted the English on Friday, Ben Stokes making the most of it with a brisk 42 off 56 balls against the Lions before retiring.
He took 2-31 on Thursday in what was his first game since July, when he stepped away from cricket to care for his mental health.
The improved weather allowed Gabba ground staff to work on the pitch, but the excess rain in the last week has left question makes about the preparedness of the surface.
“We could get anything,” Broad said.
“If you get wet weather and the pitch is slightly underprepared, it changes things, you might go a bit fuller in length.
“The state games I’ve watched from the Gabba, it can nip around a bit.
“You don’t often see that in a Test match, but you don’t often see weather like we’ve seen over the past three weeks.”