New Zealand v England: Stuart Broad eyes successful tour

Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad is confident of regaining his form and fitness on England's forthcoming tour of New Zealand.

The 26-year-old was dropped for England's third Test against India in December, before leaving the tour early because of a heel injury.

"I went three innings without taking a wicket in India and lost my place," said Broad.

"But I'm quite relaxed, and I know that if I bowl well and hang in there, then wickets come your way."

Broad has been a virtual ever-present in the England team in all formats since breaking through on their last tour of New Zealand in 2008, playing a key role as England reached number one in the Test rankings before being knocked off top spot by South Africa last summer.

He has taken 172 wickets in 52 Test matches and is also captain of the Twenty20 team, but lost his five-day place to Steven Finn after failing to take a single wicket in England's first two Tests against India.

The Notts all-rounder believes England made the right decision to replace him, with Finn taking 3-45 in the second innings to help Alastair Cook's men to a seven-wicket victory in Kolkata.

"It was probably a good decision, looking back, to leave me out," he said. "Finny came in and bowled really nicely.

"Then I picked up that little injury before the final Test match. Personally, the tour didn't go to plan. But we won the Test series and left happy.

"That's what's great about this England changing room - whether you take the field, or you're part of the touring party, you're made to feel part of the group and part of the win.

"We did brilliantly to come away with a Test victory from India."

Broad will assume control of the T20 side in New Zealand, with three matches in that format being followed by three one-day internationals and three Test matches.

He missed the one-day tour of India which followed the Test series, but is confident he is now back to full fitness after problems with his heel.

"When you've not played cricket for five or six weeks, I suppose you go into a game a little bit unsure," he said.

"I'm fit. I just need to test out the impact of it. But we've got well over a week until the first Twenty20 game (on 9 February) and that should be plenty to get it right."

Only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, of the Test-playing nations, are ranked below New Zealand in all three formats, but Broad insists England will not be complacent.

"We know the dangers New Zealand pose," said Broad. "Any team that has Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor in their limited-overs teams are strong - these boys can smash it miles.

"We know we'll have to be at the top of our game."