Cricket: England's veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad returns for first test against Blackcaps

Pace bowler Stuart Broad will return for England for the first test in their two-match series against New Zealand which starts in Mount Maunganui on Thursday.

Broad, 36, was absent from head coach Brendon McCullum's team for England's 3-0 series win over Pakistan in December following the birth of his daughter. He joins James Anderson and Ollie Robinson in England's pace attack.

The match is going ahead despite a state of emergency being declared in New Zealand due to Cyclone Gabrille, which has brought widespread flooding, landslides and forced evacuations in the North Island.

The Blackcaps face a stiff challenge to halt the English juggernaut without their best pace lineup.

Neither Kyle Jamieson nor Matt Henry will be steaming in during the pink ball series-opener at Bay Oval, the former quick ruled out of the series with a back problem and the latter on leave for the birth of his first child.

The Blackcaps will be without Kyle Jamieson for the first test.
The Blackcaps will be without Kyle Jamieson for the first test. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former pace spearhead Trent Boult has been overlooked as a replacement because he opted out of his national contract last year.

With seam bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme also lost to the lucrative global T20 circuit, selectors are left with only rookie quicks to lend support to fast bowling captain Southee and Neil Wagner.

Blair Tickner, and one of either Jacob Duffy or Scott Kuggeleijn, are expected to debut on Thursday.

It bodes poorly for a team whose descent from winning the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021 has been rapid and jarring.

While New Zealand have not lost a test series at home to England since 2008, Stokes's men have little respect for the record books.

Their last history-making effort came in Pakistan where they became the first team to complete a 3-0 whitewash of the South Asians.

If New Zealand have a sliver of hope it may lie in England's trouble with day-night tests.

England have lost their last five under the lights and neither James Anderson nor Ollie Robinson have much love for the pink Kookaburra ball.

England have not looked back since McCullum and Stokes took charge but the series will be a reminder of where it all began for the Anderson-Stuart Broad pace axis.

Nearly 15 years ago, both were picked together for the first time in Wellington in the second test of the 2008 series and took 10 wickets between them to help England win.

They kept their spots for the third and final clash in Napier, which England won to seal the series 2-1.

More than 1,200 dismissals later, 40-year-old Anderson and 36-year-old Broad are ready to charge in again.

England squad:

Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.


Join us Thursday for live updates of the first test between New Zealand and England