Stuart Broad 'ready to do some damage' against New Zealand

However, his hopes of doing so haven't progressed well thus far as injuries have resulted in him only playing one Plunket Shield game for Auckland, where he batted at No. 3.

In the first Test at Eden Park it will be Anderson and Broad who open the bowling - or Anderson and Chris Woakes. This is because the pair that last took a new ball for England was James Anderson and - no, not Stuart Broad, even though he was on 399 Test wickets, but the debutant legspinner Mason Crane, who has just been sent home with a bad back.

For England, Ben Stokes suffered back stiffness after the one-day series earlier this month and if there is any doubt he can fill a full bowler's role then England could be tempted to drop a batsman, possibly James Vince, to bring in an extra pace bowler.

His presence will be a significant moment individually and for a team bereft of Stokes' services for so much of the winter as he waited until the new year to hear he would be charged with affray after an alleged altercation outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

'That's always the aim, ' said Overton.

"We all feel for him and support him all the way through so that when he is ready to come back, he comes back with a bang because we know we are going to get a very good player".

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The 23-year-old is back in contention after a cracked rib interrupted an encouraging start to his global career, in the second and third Ashes Tests. "You've got to make sure you put it in the right areas", he said.

Play is scheduled to start at 1am GMT (2pm local time) for the day-night pink-ball Test in Auckland and 10pm GMT (11am local time) for the second fixture in Christchurch.

Chris Woakes and Mark Wood were handed the new ball alongside James Anderson in England's warm-up games on the New Zealand tour and although a decision was yet to be made Broad was not anxious.

'You've seen in games already where captains have declared seven and eight down, and had a go to try to get three or four wickets that night.

'England is a proud nation and (has) a quality cricket team, so I wouldn't expect anything less than this being a really tough series'.

  • Tabitha Byrd