Stuart Broad expects England to regain the Ashes on home soil in 2019 – despite being thrashed in the current series Down Under.
Australia won the first three matches in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to claim the little urn before England clinched a morale-boosting draw at the MCG.
But the tourists’ improvement was not sustained in the final Test in Sydney and Australia require six wickets on day five to secure an emphatic 4-0 series win.
Despite Australia’s dominance over the past six weeks, Broad says England will be ‘favourites’ to win the next Ashes, set to be held at home next year.
And the 31-year-old bowler also poured cold water on speculation he could retire after a poor individual tour, saying he is already aiming to feature in the 2019 series.
‘It is not a sentiment reflected in the scoreline of this Ashes series, but I think we will rightly be favourites when Australia come over to us in 2019 – and I expect us to win,’ Broad said in a column for the Daily Mail.
‘I definitely aim to be part of that and after this Test is over we start building towards that goal, putting in place plans to get the Ashes back.
‘We’ll have to see whether I get another chance to be a full part of a squad that wins an Ashes on Australian soil, but if it doesn’t happen it won’t be a huge sadness.’
The stunning performances of Australia captain Steve Smith has been a highlight of the current series. In seven innings he has passed fifty five times and scored three centuries.
Broad is in no doubt that Smith is the best player in the world, adding: ‘There have been a lot of questions in the last two or three years over who the best player in the world is.
‘I think that has been answered by Steve Smith, with the Australia captain having raced to 6,000 Test runs. Much as we have been fed up with the sight of him, you have to tip your hat in his direction.
‘He doesn’t change the tempo in his innings, he doesn’t get flustered or agitated. You feel that when he is out there he is booking in for a long innings and he has been relentless. He has a calm presence at the crease, as generally the best players do.
‘He also has a calming influence on those batting with him. His technique can get a bit more frantic when there is movement and that is where you need to take advantage. But he has shown how it is done on these pitches and sometimes you have to say “Well played!”.’