England speedster Stuart Broad is confident that he is fit enough to play in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s. After suffering a heel injury during his county match against Leicestershire, Broad’s participation in the first Test was in doubt. The four-match Test series which begins from July 6 will also be Joe Root’s first assignment as England captain.
After winning the ODI and T20I series against the Proteas, England will miss the services of Chris Woakes and Jake Ball as the two are yet to recover from injuries. Broad, who has taken 368 wickets in 102 Tests, spent couple of weeks on the sidelines before making a comeback in his county’s Royal London One-Day Cup final.
The 31-year old Nottinghamshire player confirmed that he is training for the upcoming Test and is confident enough. “I got through the Lord’s final on Saturday without any problems and I actually bowled on the Wednesday and Friday before that with no pain as well. It’s pulled up really well. We are training this (Tuesday) afternoon and tomorrow and I am really confident,” he said.
“I’ve been playing county cricket since early April so I’ve had quite a lot of red-ball cricket, so I am not concerned about the workload and it was great to have the intensity of the Lord’s final to put the body to the test,” Broad told Sky Sports.
Nearly four months after being appointed as England captain, after Alastair Cook stepped down from the post following series defeat to India, Root will end his long wait to lead the side.
“Joe is an attacking cricketer and aggressive when he plays, so I think the team will take that sort of shape. I don’t think he has captained me in a tour game or anything, so I am excited for him and I am sure he is looking forward to getting going.
Broad feels series against South Africa is the best opportunity for the right-handed batsman to take charge of the Three Lions in the longest format.
“He was announced what seems a long time ago and now he gets his opportunity to put things into place, and what a series to be able to do that. South Africa have a really good record in England and are a very dangerous team… I think it will be an exciting series to watch,” he concluded.