Snow worries for Broad
England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad is unconcerned about his snow-hampered preparations for the limited-overs series with New Zealand, which start on Saturday week.
Broad missed the T20 internationals and one-day internationals versus India due to a bruised left heel and was unable to join the tourists for the last two ODIs, as had been planned, due to snow in the United Kingdom.
The 26-year-old seamer has now linked up with the England squad in Auckland and is looking forward to next week’s two warm-ups against a New Zealand XI at Whangarei that precede the three-game T20I rubber.
“I feel fit. I feel good,” Broad said on his arrival in New Zealand. “With the snow back home, it’s been a bit tricky to really test anything. I’ve not done any outdoor running, because it’s been a bit hazardous.
“It was a bit disappointing to not be able to get out to India and do some outdoor bowling. But we’ve still got plenty of time for me to be able to do some work here leading into the warm-up games and the first Twenty20.
“I’m really looking forward to getting going, and I’m excited to be here.”
Broad’s last competitive appearance was in November’s second Test with India. Steven Finn was preferred for the third Test and Broad’s heel injury ruled him out of the fourth.
“When you’ve not played cricket for five or six weeks, I suppose you go into a game a little bit unsure,” he added.
“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. But we’ve got well over a week till the first Twenty20 game, and that should be plenty to get it right.”
Broad’s footwear versus New Zealand should give him the best chance of playing in the T20Is, the three ODIs and as many Tests that follow. He travelled to Germany shortly after Christmas to make sure his bowling boots were a perfect fit.
“I went to the Adidas headquarters; I just had a bit of adjusting to the foam inside the boot, so we’ll see how that goes outside,” he explained.
“I’ve 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 - because it’s a lot harder (impact) than outdoors.
“Where I’m at now, I feel good and ready to go - and I hope it can stay that way for this whole tour.”
Broad and his squad-mates will do only light exercise before travelling north on Friday to Whangarei where they will have their first net practice of the tour on Saturday.
On both Monday and Wednesday they will play a T20 game ahead of facing the Black Caps, who responded to this month’s 2-0 Test loss in South Africa with a fine 2-1 win against the Proteas.
“Their Test performances are not something we need to look at,” Broad continued.
“We’ve got to start in Twenty20 and one-day cricket, and we know New Zealand have just beaten South Africa in the one-day format.
“Having played quite a lot of Twenty20 cricket against them, we know they’re very dangerous. Any team that has Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor in their limited-overs teams are strong - these boys can smash it miles.
“We’ve got two weeks solid of Twenty20 cricket, and it’s going to be a tough battle. We know New Zealand have got some fantastic Twenty20 players.”