NZ XI v Eng XI, Tour match, Queenstown, 2nd day February 28, 2013

Broad readies for longer-format challenge

Stuart Broad was a tired man after his return to first-class cricket but was feeling positive about how his body was holding up as he aims to regain his spot in the Test team for Dunedin.

The second day against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown was Broad's first outing in the longer format since the second Test against India, in Mumbai, after which he was dropped following two wicketless games in that series. The recurrence of a heel problem that had hampered him early on the tour then then forced him to return home.

He has previously admitted he will need to manage the issue throughout his career but he is hoping to revive his Test career with the aid of new, specially designed boots, which aim to ease the pressure on the troublesome area, and this was the opportunity for a day of multiple spells to test his endurance.

He was the pick of the England pace attack, taking 1 for 35 in 15 overs, and maintained good pace throughout on a slow pitch. His nearest rival for the third fast-bowling spot, Graham Onions, had a poor day as he failed to strike during 16 expensive overs. When Broad had Carl Cachopa caught at second slip after lunch, it was his first first-class wicket since dismissing Dale Steyn at Lord's in August.

"I'll sleep well tonight. It always takes a bit of getting used to," he said. "But I got through the spells pretty well; it's an encouraging sign. The build-up throughout this tour has been really good for me, starting with Twenty20 cricket, going into the one-day format and now we have pretty much four back-to-back games.

"So the workload is going to be tough. But you just need to manage that well, and I feel like I'm doing that at the moment."

Test match cricket is going to be the toughest test of Broad's heel, where there is no opportunity to ease off and, although perhaps not in this series, long back-to-back days in the field are a possibility.

"The heel injury is still around. It's going to be around for quite a while," he said. "I do need to manage that. It still gets a bit tender towards the back-end of spells. But that's to be expected.

"I didn't feel it too much today, and I hope it will pull up pretty well tomorrow. My action feels really nice at the moment. I feel like I'm hitting the crease hard, and getting some good bounce."

Hamish Rutherford, who made 90, praised the work of Broad and was impressed with the England attack even in the absence of James Anderson and Steven Finn who were rested ahead of the Test series.

"Stuart Broad bowled very well all day, he kept running at decent clip," he said. "Woakes also bowled well and it was my first chance to have a look at Swann, so it was very pleasing to spend some time against him."

Although the innings virtually assures Rutherford of a Test debut next week, he refused to be drawn into such a discussion. "I was just trying to bat as I usually do and win each ball. I'll be completely honest, I didn't even think about it. At the end of the day, the longer I spend in the middle that sort of stuff takes care of itself."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rob on March 1, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    I was hoping for Onions to bowl like he was doing last summer, but according to reports Broad is the only faster bowler who has shone. Broad has been off key for some time now, if he could get back to where he was a couple of summers ago I would be more than happy as Finn is looking like he is now fulfilling his potential and JA will always excel. Trott, KP and Compo have failed again but will be selected I am sure, England might struggle a tad in the first test but I expect them to be dominant in the latter stages,; I don't mean to be dispariging of NZ as I admire them as a sporting nation but think the shorter forms where were any potential victories would be gained. I haven't had my daily RandyUK fix and feel a little let down.

  • gurinder on February 28, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    Broad's first outing in the longer format since the second Test against India, in Mumbai, after which he was dropped following two wicketless games in that series. need i say more. he was useless in india to say the least

  • Nicholas on February 28, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    The whole idea of bowling part-timers is not to mould them into all-rounders guys! As I said in another thread (mostly talking about the shorter formats and what teams England should trial in preparation for the Champions trophy) - just that unorthodox thing of bringing on a part-timer for a few overs often reaps rewards. Nobody in their right mind is going to expect them to run-through a batting line-up (although Clarkes 6-fer springs to mind for Aus.). I think England should do this much more often in all formats, especially when the specialist bowlers are struggling.

  • John on February 28, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Basically Onions or Woakes had to do something special to displace Broad and neither did. If Woakes had made a 50 he would have helped his case, since his bowling is not going to blow away test batsmen, and Onions needed to take a hatful of wickets, which he didn't. Barring something spectacular in the second innings, it'll be Broad for the first test. BTW, surely Swann must have earned a promotion above Broad in the batting order? Broad's batting seems to have fallen away while Swann has been batting very well for a while now.

    I think both Trott and Root were given a spell to see whether they could be relied on for a few overs to rest the specialist bowlers in the tests. Both passed that challenge, so it's going to be a 4-man attack with 6 batsmen and Prior at #7. I don't see either Trott or Root being considered allrounders!

  • Mark on February 28, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    The headlines have gone to Broad and Rutherford, which is fine, but Brownlie had another good knock. Without his support Rutherford's efforts would have been like trying to hold back the tide. As it is, England had a session where the bowlers were made to work hard for their wickets and Rutherford and Brownlie dug in, but the close position promises a good first innings lead and then a chance to give a few players who didn't do so well in the first innings the chance to build a huge target.

    Interesting to see Trott given a decent spell. Are the selectors planning to use him as 4th seamer, I wonder? He did break the partnership, but I am not sure that planning around Trott's bowling is what you want in a Test!

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