Stuart Broad encouraged he is on course for Test return for England

The England bowler took one wicket on the second day against a New Zealand XI

Stuart Broad had to work very hard for meagre rewards today, but was nonetheless encouraged that he is on track for a Test return next week.

Broad took just one wicket - his first of the winter in first-class cricket, after his troubles in India - as a New Zealand XI replied to England's 426 all out with 224 for six.

On the other hand, he got through 15 overs without significant discomfort from the chronic heel injury which compromised his performances before Christmas.

Broad has played only limited-overs cricket, before this four-day warm-up match at the Queenstown Events Centre ground, since being dropped for the third Test in Kolkata and then having to fly home early while his team-mates were completing a historic series victory in Nagpur in December.

Hamish Rutherford (90) underlined his credentials as a Test opener - he is in line for a debut in Dunedin - with the major contribution for the hosts on day two of four, after Ian Bell (158) added to his overnight century.

Broad then bowled four spells as he and his fellow seamers laboured long and hard before two late wickets in six balls gave England a spring in their step.

"The heel injury is still around. It's going to be around for quite a while," said Broad.

"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."

He was heartened to have proved to himself and others that he can carry the workload England will need from him if, as expected, he is named as their third seamer next week.

"I'll sleep well tonight," he said. "It always takes a bit of getting used to 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.

"That's why you play these games. You want time in the field; you want to be able to bowl back-to-back spells, but also you want to win the games."

England drew a blank with the new ball before lunch, but Broad's eventual figures of one for 35 read well in comparison with those of his fellow frontline seamers Graham Onions and Chris Woakes.

"My action feels really nice at the moment," he added.

"I feel like I'm hitting the crease hard and getting some good bounce.

"I felt pretty unlucky not to pick up a wicket with that new ball. I had a few plays-and-misses and it nipped around a little bit."

He gave England an upbeat report collectively too.

"As a bowling unit, I think we're pretty happy with how the day has gone," he said.

"We maybe could have forced the issue a little bit from 35 to 60 overs, where the ball didn't do a huge amount for us.

"But we kept it pretty tight and at the end of the day, six wickets from 74 overs you'd take against a pretty good side.

"I think the wicket changed quite a bit throughout the afternoon. In the first two hours, there was little bit of seam there with the dampness. But once the sun was on the wicket, it played pretty true throughout the day."

It was thanks to Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann that England picked up those two wickets just before stumps.

"We're delighted," said Broad.

"We've got the new ball just around the corner, so we're in a decent position in this game.

"Getting 430 was a pretty good effort on a wicket that seamed pretty much all day yesterday and it looks like - as expected - it's going to flatten out a little bit.

"So it's important we get those four wickets in the next 80 runs."

For their opponents, Rutherford impressed throughout - all the more so because he had to contend with a wayward contact lens during his innings.

Asked if it was a concern, the opener said: "Very much so - it went up to my brain somewhere at one point.

"I was struggling to see it.

"There's been an issue over the last month, so I need to get it sorted ASAP.

"It came back down again. But I don't have spare ones here, so I need to sort it out."

 



PA

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat