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Stuart Broad returns to England XI for first Test against New Zealand

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Last updated on 15 Feb 2023 | 05:48 AM
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Stuart Broad returns to England XI for first Test against New Zealand

The fast bowler missed the three-match series against Pakistan to be home for the birth of his child

After a thumping 3-0 win against Pakistan away from home, England are set to compete in a two-match series against New Zealand in their backyard starting with the first Test on Wednesday, February 16.

Ahead of the clash in Mount Maunganui, Ben Stokes, the England skipper, has announced the playing XI, with seam bowler Stuart Broad making a comeback to the side after missing the Pakistan series following the birth of his child. 

The right-arm pacer, who has 566 Test wickets, will lead the attack alongside 40-year-old James Anderson, England's all-time leading bowler with 675 dismissals and seamer Ollie Robinson.

All-rounder Ben Stokes, who will lead England in the country of his birth for the first time, will be the fourth seam option with spinner Jack Leach completing the bowling attack for the day-night encounter beginning Thursday.

The first match of the two-Test series is expected to begin on time despite a national state of emergency in New Zealand caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

But the storm has meant The Bay Oval wicket has remained covered for much of the build-up, something that normally favours the side bowling first, however Stokes was uncertain how it would play.

"Watching Test matches in New Zealand in the past, I don't think you can look too much into the wickets here when they're green like that. The two-day practice game we played last week in Hamilton, the wicket was very green, had a lot of grass on it, and it played very, very true," Ben Stokes said. 

Stokes said the team had managed to practise under the cover of a marquee, despite the weather. "We have been lucky with the tent up here, we have been able to train, but the cyclone hasn't helped preparations. We have the experience of Jimmy and Broady, and you always want a bit of X-factor in your third seamer, which we have," he concluded.

England XI: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (Captain), Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.

(With inputs from AFP)

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