England bowler Stuart Broad has insisted that he and former Test captain Joe Root remain "great friends" after dismissing speculation that a rift had formed between the pair over his exclusion from the West Indies tour.
Broad and fellow paceman James Anderson, England's top two wicket-takers in Test cricket, were left out of the three-Test series in the Caribbean earlier this year. England proceeded to lose 1-0 in what proved to be Root's final series as captain.
"Joe and I spoke at length when he stood down as captain and I said to him how much he's meant to me as a captain, and what a privilege it was playing under him," Broad told reporters.
"I told him I hope he really enjoys the next few years. He's already a legend of the game ... Joe and I are great friends. I can't fall out with someone because they don't pick me in a team, that would be a bit pathetic."
Broad and Anderson returned to the side for the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord's last week and were instrumental in helping the hosts to a five-wicket win in Ben Stokes' first match as captain.
Broad claimed match figures of four wickets for 126 runs – including two in one over in the second innings that turned the match in England's favour – while Anderson took six wickets for 123 runs. Root, meanwhile, was named player of the match for his unbeaten fourth innings century.
"I started this season not knowing if I'd pull on the England shirt again ... it's been one of the most fun weeks we've had as a team," Broad said.
The second Test gets underway at Trent Bridge on Friday, with the third and final match to be played at Headingley starting June 23.