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Alan Gardner in Chittagong
March 17, 2014
Broad confident of World T20 involvement
Broad sympathises with injured Stokes
England's preparations for the World T20 have been about as tranquil as your average ride in a Bangladeshi auto-rickshaw but, having arrived in Dhaka ahead of the start of the Super 10 stage in a few days' time, they have received a cautiously optimistic prognosis on the fitness of Stuart Broad. England's T20 captain has been suffering from patellar tendonitis due to his exertions over a draining winter season but Broad has said he is confident of being available throughout the two weeks.
Broad was rested from England's final two T20s in the West Indies because of swelling and discomfort in his right knee. He has since had an injection on the joint and is not likely to play in England's first warm-up match - also against West Indies on Tuesday - meaning that he will have just the second practice fixture against India to prove his readiness.
Since the start of 2013, Broad has bowled more than 650 overs for England in all formats, the most by any fast bowler in that period. The fact that T20 will only require short bursts is in Broad's favour, although he may still need surgery and a significant period of rehabilitation at some point in the near future.
"I had an injection on my knee last week so they normally take eight to ten days," Broad said. "We left Barbados on Friday afternoon and didn't get here until last night, so it was quite a long way to travel and we had to manage that. It is unlikely I will play tomorrow because I have not actually run since I had the injection yet but I would say I will definitely play against India the next day.
"The soreness has gone a bit, I managed to get a gym session while we were in Dubai, we were 12 hours in transit so I have rested pretty well. If it was a Test tour, it might be more concerning but with only four overs per game I am pretty confident I will be able to play a full part in this World Cup."
England and Broad's relish for the challenge may reasonably be expected to have dimmed, after yet another switch of continents to be tested in inhospitable foreign climes. Injuries have bedevilled their World T20 squad, supposedly a fresh start for England after the horrors of Australia, meaning the coach, Ashley Giles, has seldom been able to work with his preferred XI.
Confidence may also be low: England have won just one limited-overs series (the one-dayers in the Caribbean) since reaching the Champions Trophy final last summer, as well as a one-off ODI against Ireland. Broad, however, evoked the memory of the 2010 World T20 triumph when England settled on an XI only in the final warm-up match before the start of the tournament. He singled out batsmen Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler as potential impact players who could spark another unexpected run.
"The thing about T20 World Cups is that it is all about momentum and peaking for those two-and-a-half to three weeks," Broad said. "The fact that no side has won it twice shows there is no particular speciality in the way you play, just that one team gets on a roll and has one or two players who really push their side into winning positions and that's why every side has a chance.
"We have some match-winners, the likes of Morgan and Buttler with their power and Hales was recently named number one batsman in the world. I've always said that in Test cricket, you need eight or nine guys to have a really good game, in T20 you need two or three max."
The core of England's T20 side has been together for some time and although the likes of Moeen Ali, Stephen Parry and Chris Jordan are fresh to international cricket, Broad suggested experience of playing in domestic 20-over cricket - particularly overseas - would be more important to his side's chances. Moeen, Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara have played previously in the BPL, Morgan has had several seasons in the IPL, while Michael Lumb "has great experience of this format from all over the world", all of which would be tapped into before their first group game in Chittagong against New Zealand on Saturday.
"In Twenty20 you don't get long to assess a pitch, you get an over maybe, so prior knowledge is great to have," he said. "In Chittagong the side that adapts to conditions quickly will have a potential advantage."
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Alan Gardner
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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