Stuart Broad has admitted he may have no choice but to pick a socially distanced fight with the Windies batsmen in order to get his intensity up without a crowd.
The sterile, bio-secure atmosphere at the Ageas Bowl is set to challenge all the players who are used to full houses for Test matches in the UK.
But for Broad in particular, a big match beast, the silence will be deafening which is why a battle between him and the batsmen could get him in the right zone, although if he oversteps the line his dad, match referee Chris, might be having more than a fatherly word.
“It’s a worry for me because I know that I perform at my best as a player when the game is at its most exciting and when the game needs changing,” said Broad.
“I do know that I thrive off the energy of something happening in the game, a bit of excitement going on, or with a big battle going on.
“I might do even more research into the opposition batsmen’s strengths and weaknesses so I’m very focused on getting in a competitive battle with the batsman instead of sometimes relying on the crowd to get your emotions going to be able to bowl at your best.
“I’ve already spoken to our sports psychologist about creating a bit of a mindset around making sure I can get my emotions up to where they need to be at my best.
“Maybe I have to pick more of a battle with the opposition and bring my dad into things a bit more!”
With 485 wickets over 12 and a half years as a Test cricketer it would be a huge surprise if Broad wasn’t still a handful in home conditions for the West Indies batsmen despite the empty grounds.
As a comparison, in the UAE, a place where crowds are thin on the ground for Test matches, Broad has taken 20 wickets at an average of 23, where the pitches are not exactly designed to help him.
Along with the rest of England’s fast bowling armoury, Broad is in peak physical shape which has meant searching examinations for the England batsmen in training so far because the competition for places is fierce.
Coaches have even told them to calm things down a touch to avoid unnecessary injuries.
Broad, Anderson, Archer, Wood, Woakes, and Curran, are the proven Test performers in the training squad and they cannot all play.
“From the training I’ve seen it is pretty impressive what is going around and it has been nicely intense,” added Broad. “Actually, the coaches have been telling us to make sure we control it because we risk injury.
“I bowled with Mark Wood a couple of days ago and he is bowling beautifully, great control and pace.
“The dream ticket is to board a flight for Brisbane and the Ashes next year and having this lot of fast bowlers all ready to go. That is the aim for English cricket.”