Broad wary of Black Caps
Stuart Broad predicts his England T20 team will have to be at their very best to beat New Zealand in the three-match series starting Saturday.
Broad is back to lead his country after missing their last two Twenty20 international matches before Christmas in India because of his heel injury as well as last month's five one-day internationals there last month.
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, against opponents he respects nonetheless.
"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 tomorrow."
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 hat-trick.
"From a personal point of view, it was nice to bowl my overs and also pick up a couple of wickets," he said.
"From the team point of view, we had some good tests out there.
"We were challenged and it's always good in your warm-up games to play strong opposition because you test yourselves as closely as you can to a full international.
"Despite the disappointment of losing off the last ball [in the second match], I thought we got some really good things out of those games - especially the likes of Jos Buttler and (Eoin) Morgan, the way they batted."
England may well again pick both their spinners, all-rounder Samit Patel and James Tredwell for tomorrow's floodlit series opener and then choose two from Steven Finn, Chris Woakes and Jade Dernbach as Broad's pace-bowling team-mates.
New Zealand will be without the injured Ian Butler and Grant Elliott and have called up all-rounder Jimmy Neesham to cover those absences.
Teams for Saturday's first Twenty20 International between England and New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland, starting at 0600 GMT:
England (from): SCJ Broad (Captain), AD Hales, MJ Lumb, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JC Buttler (wkt), JM Bairstow, SR Patel, CR Woakes, JC Tredwell, ST Finn, JW Dernbach.
New Zealand (from): B McCullum (Captain, wkt), H Rutherford, M Guptill, R Taylor, C Munro, J Franklin, A Ellis, N McCullum, T Boult, R Hira, M McClenaghan, J Neesham.