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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
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: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions