Former fast bowler and columnist Derek Pringle has said Stuart Broad Broad's continued leadership of England's Twenty20 side could hinge on whether he has found a cure for the bruised heel that has dogged him for the past few months.
Pringle said Broad's specially designed footwear could help the fast bowler emerge from his struggles against his chronic sore heels problem.
"Sore heels can be the bane of fast bowlers and Broad struggled in India with the problem, a common ailment among those who bang their front foot down hard to generate pace," Pringle wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
"England's analysts have worked out that Broad transmits seven times his own body weight through his left foot when he bowls, with his heel bearing the brunt. If he was not a fast bowler it would not be a problem but because bowling is a repetitive discipline, bruised heels can quickly become a chronic injury," he added.
"Broad, apparently, has soldiered on to the point where he has lacerated the fat pads that act as shock absorbers in the heel, leaving bone to pound on boot, which in turn pounds on hard ground, the bowling crease is always compacted with little to ease the jolt," he wrote.
Pringle further added: "Solutions need to be found and fast with much hope being pinned on a new bowling boot. The footwear, specially developed, has a softer, springier sole to absorb the shocks."
"What Broad's own heel cannot supply technology can, or at least that is the hypothesis which will be tested over the next few days as England play a New Zealand XI in Whangarei ahead of their main three-match T20 series," he further wrote.
"Yet, even if they are found wanting, the boots, with their bright day-glo details will, at least, ensure England's T20 captain remains visible should bad light descend," he concluded. (ANI)