(Reuters) - England fast bowler Stuart Broad has not taken a five-wicket haul in over two years but the 31-year-old is optimistic his career is on the brink of another surge in the two-test series against New Zealand.
The right-arm paceman has 399 wickets as he enters the day-night test at Eden Park in Auckland from Thursday after a disappointing 2017.
His six for 17 against South Africa in Johannesburg in January, 2016 was the last time he ran through an opposition batting order and now faces the prospect of losing the new ball for England.
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 worried.
“I think we’re just going to be a bit more flexible,” Broad told reporters. “The same people don’t have to take the new ball as the second new ball.
“We’re just trying to find ways to improve us really because there’s no hiding place from the fact, away from home, we haven’t got it right.”
England lost 4-0 in India and were then thrashed by the same margin in the Ashes series against Australia and Broad said he has worked hard in the nets to put everything back in place.
“I’ve just got that feeling, something in my stomach that tells me my career is about to take off a bit,” Broad said. “I’m someone who can change games and that’s how I view myself as a cricketer.
“It actually influenced some of the changes I made in February. I felt I got too technical, constantly looking at videos. I’ve got that buzz back.”
One more wicket in Auckland will make him the second Englishman behind Anderson to enter the 400-wicket club and Broad paid glowing tributes to the side’s most potent weapon.
“To think Jimmy has got more than 500 test wickets is pretty incredible really and I’ve been standing at mid-on for most of them I think,” Broad said.
“Yeah, it’s been special to have that partnership and share some of the things that have gone, the test match wins.
“Certainly seeing the way he’s gone about his business has helped me and there’s no way I’d be near 400 test wickets without having the luck of playing in the same era as Jimmy Anderson. Absolutely not.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty