Australia captain Clarke is on the comeback trail after the latest in a long list of hamstring problems and, after returning to action this week, he could even feature in the first match of the tournament next Saturday.
But Broad wonders if he will tread lightly and return later in the month, although he is not worried either way about how it will impact on England’s plans for the Valentine’s Day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“You wouldn’t want to risk a hamstring early in the tournament when you want him to be right for the big games later on… hamstrings are always a bit tricky,” Broad said.
“It’s certainly not a distraction for us. It just means we need to do more research on more players. I think he’s averaged 43, 44 for them, he’s a world-class player and I’m sure they would want their captain back for important games.”
Australia go into the tournament as favourites and come in on the back of some fine performances in the Carlton Mid Tri-Series, where they were far too strong for India and beat England on three occasions, two narrowly before a rout in the final in Perth.
Broad fancies England’s chances of making it to the final, and when further asked who he thought they would face, he said:??”New Zealand or South Africa.
“I don’t know how it all works towards the end [and] Australia are massive favourites, but New Zealand are looking dangerous and South Africa are looking very dangerous.
“The format of the World Cup is they are not must-wins at the start but it would take a lot of pressure off us. We’ve got tough games at the start and it will free us up if we win a couple of the first three. It’s not the end of the world if we don’t but it would take a lot of pressure off us if we do.
“We played some really good cricket against India in the tri-series and Australia did it a couple of times. I think we’re due, too.”