England v India, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 3rd day August 9, 2014

Broad suffers fractured nose


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Waiting on scan results on Broad - Cook

Stuart Broad has suffered a fractured nose after being hit in the face by a bouncer from Varun Aaron, on the third day of the fourth Investec Test at Old Trafford, but England are hopeful he will be available for the final Test at The Oval.

An update from the ECB on Saturday evening said: "He will be treated over the course of the week and the medical team anticipates he will be available for the fifth Investec Test."

Broad's injury came when he tried to pull Aaron - following consecutive sixes off the previous two deliveries - and the ball squeezed between his grille and visor, striking him at the top of the nose and drawing blood.

An unsteady Broad was helped off the field by the physio before being stitched in the dressing room. Shortly after tea he was seen walking around the boundary with a bandaged nose as he made the trip to hospital from where watched England wrap up an innings victory.

Broad tweeted: "Amazing win that!! Watched the last 8 wickets in a hospital! 2-1 One to go come on boys!"

At the presentation, Alastair Cook was hopeful that Broad, who claimed 6 for 25 on the first day at Old Trafford and was Man of the Match, would be fit for The Oval which starts on August 15.

"It was a really nasty blow but hopefully there aren't any cheek fractures," Cook said. "We wish him well and hopefully he hasn't ruined his good looks."

Cook also revealed that James Anderson was ill on the third day and praised the effort to send down nine overs, during which Anderson maintained his hold over Virat Kohli by removing him for 7 shortly before leaving the field for just over half an hour. "It was a great effort for him to get off his bed and bowl those overs," Cook said. "We hope he will be fully fit for The Oval."

Although England surged to victory in Broad's absence, the combined figures of Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan in the match - 40-8-172-4 - was a reminder of how vital he is to the attack. If Broad was unable to play the final Test it could open the way for a recall for Steven Finn, who was in the squad for Old Trafford, or Liam Plunkett if he overcomes the ankle injury which ruled him out of this match.

Broad's injury was similar to one suffered by Craig Kieswetter, the Somerset wicketkeeper, a few weeks ago when a ball from David Willey, Northamptonshire's left-arm seamer, struck him in the face between the grille and helmet. Kieswetter needed surgery on his eye socket.

Cook praised his team for sticking together in the tough times as they achieved their second successive Test victory over India. He admitted his side had hit "rock bottom" after a thumping defeat against the same opposition at Lord's and accepted that, after a poor run of form with the bat and seven defeats in nine Tests as captain, he was running out of chances to arrest the slide.

But, as he celebrated consecutive wins for the first time in more than a year, Cook credited the team's hard work and self belief in moments of difficulty for the change in fortune.

"We were at rock bottom at Lord's," Cook said. "That was a tough moment as a side. You run out of chances in my position. But we stuck together as a team in some tough moments. We kept hanging in there and we kept believing.

"Even when we went one down in the series, we felt we could still win. I still had a lot of confidence. We felt that if we did the hard work, the good results would return. But yes, the longer it went without a win, the harder it was getting.

"There was a glimmer of light in the runs from the younger guys. We were playing well in patches, but then having a very bad session. Then it was a matter of the senior guys stepping up the plate. We did that here: we set the tone on the first morning and we sustained the intensity we had in Southampton throughout this match."

Cook had particular praise for Moeen Ali, who claimed another four wickets with his offspin. "Moeen has improved rapidly," Cook said. "I haven't seen an improvement like that. But he has worked incredibly hard and he is a canny operator. A little part of their game must have been to attack Moeen. But he bowls at really good pace and he doesn't bowl many bad balls. He has learned to hold an end up and when the ball spins, he is dangerous. He has improved at a huge rate.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • suresh on August 11, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    I guess the Helmet manufacturers need to look at more effective designs for the helmets as there have been quite a few injuries where the ball has squeezed through the protective grill and visor. It may not be that easy considering the view for the batsmen comes top priority. Even visors should be totally unbreakable, as otherwise it could lead to more bad injuries.

  • Peter on August 10, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK. Thanks, I do count myself fortunate to have been coached & brought up in pre helmet days although I still wear them sometimes, & still haven't been hit (not bad for an opening batsman). I was at the Gabba last season when Broad got clocked in the helmet by Johnson requiring a change of helmets. His technique is fairly poor in that he stands in line and swats, keeping his head in line with the ball. When it comes off, he does hit it well but the law of averages tells you, you are going to miss sooner or later. And very rarely does the angle allow the ball to get through the narrow gap (or should be, I am not sure how narrow Broad's was).

  • Nicholas on August 10, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    @jmcilhinney (post on August 9, 2014, 20:14 GMT): I agree - I don't think Perspex, Pyrex, bullet-proof glass etc. is the way to go. Metal grill is perhaps the only choice. But I think all (international) players should spend the time, money & effort to get custom-made versions that provide (almost) complete protection without jeopardising field of vision. The gap on Broad's helmet looked rather large to me…

    @Chris_P (post on August 9, 2014, 22:28 GMT): Yes you're right - the key point is that the ball should/will only fit through with force/velocity behind it, & the likelihood of the ball coming at exactly the correct direction to do that is, I suppose, negligible. In this Broad instance, we could argue the helmet has served a great purpose; but health & safety is a funny thing in life: you're not innocent until proven guilty, you're guilty until you can prove otherwise! You sound a bit like Boycott: "Us batsmen never used to get hit on the head back in my days without helmets…" :-)

  • R on August 10, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Poor decision to play Broad in this test. He is already playing with knee problem. Cook wants to prove a point against a younger side.

  • Alimul Ahsan on August 10, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    It's the fault of the batsman to choose the faulty helmet.

  • Android on August 10, 2014, 1:11 GMT

    It's not a problem with duck shaped helmet but it's a choice of batsmen of having more or less gap.

    In general batsmen prefer small grill and large gap to have a better view of the ball while batting.

  • Peter on August 9, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    It's obviously many here haven't seen a helmet close up. They are designed to take impact, there is a gap at eye level to allow batsmen full vision to watch the ball with distraction, hence the wider gap. The gap is narrower than a ball, but a ball at pace, delivered at the right angle can squeeze though albeit at reduced velocity. Trust me, if the ball smashed into his face at full velocity, the damage would have been far worse. those calling for stronger helmets seriously need to look at the technique of playing short balls. Helmets have made batsmen lazier, they do not move across & inside the line of the rising ball like players form the past did. Without helmets, there weren't the hits back then as there currently are as a direct result of batsmen leaving the head in line with the ball when playing hook or pull shots. Even Ricky Ponting, one of the better players of the shot was guilty of that. Cricinfo, Please publish.

  • Graham on August 9, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    Like others, I can't believe that a helmet, whose purpose is to protect the batsman from a cricket ball, fails almost entirely in its purpose. It surely isn't rocket science to ensure that a ball can't squeeze between the gap between metal grid and helmet. Can't imagine it's very good publicity for the helmet makers...

  • John on August 9, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    @xylo on (August 9, 2014, 16:24 GMT), I think that it's just freakish bad luck. Batsmen would want as big a gap as possible between the helmet peak and the top of the grille to provide the best visibility so they are probably just a tiny bit smaller then the ball. Because of the speed and trajectory of the ball that hit Broad, it would have widened that gap just enough for the ball to squeeze through. If the angle had been slightly different in either direction then the ball would not have made it through the gap. Obviously protection is important but we can rarely protect ourselves 100% without significant inconvenience and we humans do hate to be inconvenienced. Anything that increases protection will decrease visibility and even slightly less visibility can make a significant difference when facing a fast bowler.

  • John on August 9, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 9, 2014, 19:26 GMT), I remember back in the old days of visors on helmets they were made completely of Perspex or the like but metal grilles seemed to become preferred some time ago. I'm not sure whether it might have been thought that the Perspex could distort a batsman's view but I wonder whether filling the gap between the peak on the helmet and the top of the metal grille with Perspex might not be a bad idea. It might have saved Broad in this case but I'm not sure exactly how strong it is and maybe would have cracked with that much force. A ball to the nose would be better than a splinter of Perspex to the eye.

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