Alastair Cook is confident that Stuart Broad will be back to his best for the Ashes
Alastair Cook is confident that Stuart Broad will bounce back from his recent struggles on the tour of India.
Last Updated: 06/02/13 7:48am
Broad suffered a heel injury, failed to take a wicket in the second Test in Mumbai and missed the one-day series after returning home early.
But the Nottinghamshire strike bowler is leading the England Twenty20 side in New Zealand and took 3-22 in the warm-up victory over a New Zealand XI on Tuesday.
With back-to-back to back Ashes series on the horizon, Cook knows how important it is to have Broad fit and firing.
Cook told Sky Sports: "He will be very important to England. It's great to see him back playing.
"It was a tough tour of India, more trying to get him on the park really - he had a few niggles and trying to play through the niggles didn't really work for him.
"It is great that he is now fit and leading the Twenty20 side out in New Zealand. He just needs some overs under his belt outdoors, hopefully he will get that and hopefully he will be ready for the Twenty20 games, the one-dayers and the Test matches afterwards.
"He is a massive player for us, he has delivered in big games before. This is such a big summer and winter coming up, we need all our big players hopefully fit and available throughout the whole time."
Cook has also been encouraged by the emergence of young talent into the England team over the last 12 months, particularly Joe Root and Jos Buttler.
He said: "Joe Root has had a great rise. He is playing in all three formats now. The way he has handled himself in Test matches and the five one-dayers in India, he does look the real deal at international level.
"He is still very young, he has still got a huge amount of improvement to do, but he seems to have a great character to be able to do that."
Of Buttler, who scored his maiden half-century for England on Tuesday, Cook added: "We have seen him doing it for Somerset for a number of years at the end of games and he is a very destrucive hitter. He is just starting to transfer that to the international game now he is getting his chance.
"It is great for English cricket we are producing these young players. It is great to see them coming onto the international stage and making a name for themselves."