England in New Zealand 2012-13 January 30, 2013

Broad 'fit and good' for England return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stuart Broad has arrived in New Zealand "fit and good" to return to England duty.

Broad has not played since the second Test in Mumbai in November, where his 0 for 60 was his second consecutive wicketless Test. Broad was subsequently dropped for the second time in his career.

A heel problem prevented his return as captain for the T20 series, which England drew 1-1 with Eoin Morgan leading the side, before snow denied him the chance to re-join his colleagues in India for the final two matches of the ODI series.

The poor weather has hindered Broad's training programme, so he is glad to be back in warmer climes, arriving a few hours ahead of the rest of the squad who travelled direct from India following Sunday's final ODI.

"I have not done any outdoor running because it has been a bit hazardous at home," Broad said. "But I feel pretty good and look forward to getting going and excited to be here. With the snow back home it has been tricky to really test anything.

"It was disappointing not to get out to India and do some outdoor bowling ready for this tour but we have plenty of time to do some work here leading into the warm-up games and the first Twenty20."

England play two warm-up matches on February 4 and 6 before the first of three T20s on February 9 in Auckland. It will be the first time Broad has captained England since they tumbled out of the World T20 at the Super Eights stage in October.

Broad will be hoping for a return to form after averaging 39.72 with the ball and 14.00 with the bat in his last full Test series - against South Africa in July and August. He has also been short of one-day cricket having missed the ODI series with South Africa in September. His overs at the World T20 were taken for 7.42 runs each.

Short of match-practise, Broad's first task is to feel satisfied that his heel injury has recovered. "When you've not played cricket for five or six weeks, I suppose you go into a game a little bit unsure," he said. "I have done quite a lot of treadmill running, and a lot of spinning, so I'm fit. I just need to test out the impact of it.

"We've got well over a week till the first Twenty20 game, and that should be plenty to get it right."

Broad travelled to Adidas headquarters in Germany to have his boots moderated to help ease the strain. "I have had a bit of adjusting to the foam inside the boot and we will see how that goes outside," he said. "But I have bowled five or six spells of six or seven overs indoors, which felt good. And you'd have thought indoor bowling would be as big a test on the heel as anything.

"I feel fit and good, so where I am at now I feel ready to go."

Longer term for Broad there is the challenge of trying to regain his Test place in what is likely to be a three-man pace attack alongside James Anderson and Steven Finn. It was Finn who initially replaced Broad in India and then Tim Bresnan played the final Test although he is absent from this tour.

Broad began 2012 in impressive form with consistent performances against Pakistan in the UAE and then claimed 11 wickets against West Indies at Lord's before having less of an impact against South Africa and conceded being dropped in India was the right decision.

"I'm quite relaxed, and I know that if I bowl well and hang in there and do the right things in training, then wickets come your way," Broad said. "I had a really good start, first half of the year, and was the leading seamer in the world.

"Then I went three innings without taking a wicket in India and lost my place. That happens and it was probably a good decision, looking back, to leave me out.

"Finny came in and bowled really nicely. Then I picked up that little injury before the final Test match. Personally, the tour didn't go ideally to plan. But we won the Test series and left happy."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on February 1, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @SamuelH on (January 31 2013, 10:02 AM GMT) - I'm probably not the best person to debate about Broad as I think he is highly overrated. I also use to think Finn was overrated as when I saw him live at the Gabba I thought he had the worst delivery style since Max Walker or Paul Adams (frog in a blender). I couldn't fathom why he bowled so far behind the crease at the point of release - a million dead balls later, I get the picture. Finn seems to have modified his run up (still not great), but he counters his ungainliness by having pretty much a perfect release. He seems to be 5 to 10kph faster than when he was in Oz. I watched Broad at the Gabba & was dissappointed when he was taken off, as he was unthreatening. From what I have seen in Tests your best bowlers PACE bowlers are 1. Anderson, 2. Tremlett (fit), 3. Finn, 4. Bresnan (off the boil), no opinion on Meaker & have often said that Woakes needs to be seriously looked at long term, maybe as a batsmen first who can bowl.

  • John on January 31, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    @Trickstar on (January 30 2013, 19:05 PM GMT) It all depends on which version we get. I love Broad , possibly my favourite Eng player alongside Swann but would I have him in the side right now? No. I'd give him til March (if the county seaon starts early again this year) and see how he goes for Notts. Personally I think our selectors are too loyal at times and it has cost us. IMO , nothing wrong with making a regular player fight his way back into the England set up

  • Sharon on January 31, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    @Front_foot_minge ease off mate @hammond is hard core England follower like we are. See him deal with Aussie fan then you will know... Only one difference he live in Australia. With name like Hammond he could hardly be anything other than English :-)

  • D on January 31, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Come on England . And leave off Compton he done well in tricky away tour in India as his first test series . And broad good bowler

  • D on January 31, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Broad is good player. Indian fans why do you feel keep commenting about England when we moved on from your tour ? Where we did well so. England are good side and will probably fair better in New Zealand which more on par too home conditions so broad will be fine. Finn problem like panesar he carnt bat . Though he can field

  • Sharon on January 31, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    @Fast_Track_Bully (January 31 2013, 13:57 PM GMT) what on EARTH are you talking about. Are you trying to say that Broad bowling figure do not count because most of his bowling in England? Are you trying to say that the only record that count is record of Broad in India?!?! What conceited garbage. In that case by that logic record of all of India cricketer in all of history is equally flawed because they played most of their cricket in India. You cannot judge Broad on his performance in India in 2012 because he wasn't there. India fan make plenty of excuse about India in England in 2011 - they tried to say that most of the India team was injured (which was nonsense). England do not make excuse about Broad injured and yet still India "fan" thrash him. Why -? because Broad destroy India in England in 2011. That's why they hate him. Don't forget @fat_track_bull - England HAVE BOWLER.... India.... DO NOT.....

  • Manesh on January 31, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip.that's why he is called a 'Fast track bully'. Will be good at bouncy home conditions only! He will get thrashed any other place. And you forgot his inefficiency cause his position in the team! Read this - his 0 for 60 was his second consecutive wicketless Test.- He must be an asset to your team. lol!

  • Samuel on January 31, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    @Meety - even in the one day game I'd say Finn has overtaken him as England's most important strike bowler. I would say the figures are slightly misleading about his Test career though - he picked up a lot of lower order wickets early on, but his injury came right in the middle of his most consistent patch, in which he made players like Tendulkar, Laxman, Sangakkara, Gambhir & Younis look pedestrian. That's what's been most frustrating about watching him since his return from injury - we now know the heights he can hit, and the fact that he had added consistency to undoubted talent only now heightens expectations for him, which he hasn't been able to live up to. I don't think it's right that he walks back into the side - like Bresnan, he should have to go back to the Championship & prove himself - but it's the idea of him rediscovering the form he showed from the India series in 2011 through to the injury he picked up in Sri Lanka that's why he's there.

  • j on January 31, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Hammond: I take it you've never heard of Anderson, Tremlett and Finn. Let me introduce them to you... By pointing you in the direction of the 2010/11 Ashes series DVD, which as a cricket follower, you really should catch up on. It happened in your own back yard, after all.