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Monday, September 1, 2014

Saturday, February 9, 2013
Sports

Broad ready for plucky NZ

Stuart Broad predicts his England Twenty20 team will have to be at their very best to beat New Zealand in the three-match series starting at Eden Park on Saturday.

Broad is back to lead his country after missing their last two T20 international matches in India because of a heel injury as well as last month's five one-day internationals there. The pace bowler accepts he can only "manage" the pain in his left heel, caused by a lacerated fat-pad - an unusual injury and one for which there is no known treatment.

Broad has, however, shown no ill-effects in taking back-to-back three-wicket hauls in England's two warm-up matches against a New Zealand XI in Whangarei. Those fixtures resulted in one comfortable victory and one narrow defeat. But Broad demonstrated his well-being, as did several frontline batsmen - and the captain is confident in England's abilities. "We've got a hugely talented side," he said.

"But we're coming up against a very strong New Zealand team as well and we know in white-ball cricket they're very dangerous.

"I'd imagine it will be a feisty contest, like we always have with New Zealand, and both teams will be going hell for leather to win. There are dangerous players throughout (their) line-up, so we'll have to be right on the money."

Broad, who had to leave England's Test tour of India early because of the pain in his heel, believes he has benefited from returning to the fray in the short format - in which he needs to bowl only four overs per match.

"It was nice to get back on the field and get some overs in," he said. "Obviously, it's been quite a good build-up for me, with four-over spells rather than going straight back into the impact of Test matches."

He finished with aggregate figures of six for 46, including a hattrick.

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