London: England coach Andy Flower is convinced Stuart Broad is back to his best after a poor winter following an injury setback during India Test series.
Broad has been affected by injury and a loss of rhythm and even had the Test vice-captaincy taken away because of concerns over his fitness.
However, Flower now believes the blond all-rounder is once more close to operating at maximum pace and hostility.
While centuries by Alastair Cook and Nick Compton plus Steven Finn`s long vigil as night watchman helped England save the First Test, Broad`s return to his best could be of equal long-term significance.
Broad`s three-wicket haul in New Zealand`s innings of 460-9 declared was not especially eye-catching but they were his first Test victims since August.
Flower said he wouldn`t describe Broad`s form until now as a winter slump but, if you`re asking how he thinks he bowled in this match then he would say he was quite impressed.
Flower added Broad`s pace was good, his body language and run-up were purposeful, his follow through was strong and the ball was getting through to the keeper nicely, adding his control was good and he would imagine he will only get stronger.
Another plus was that Broad`s heel injury, which ended his tour of India before Christmas, caused no problems.
Flower added having Broad fit and firing is a huge factor in our game, and they all ebb and flow in their lives and have good times and tough times.
Flower said Broad is working very hard at his all-round game, and if he runs in with that sort of rhythm and power, they going to see some good things from him.