India in England 2014 August 10, 2014

Broad included in unchanged England squad

ESPNcricinfo staff
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England have named an unchanged squad for the fifth Test at The Oval, starting on Friday, with Stuart Broad included despite suffering a fractured nose when batting at Old Trafford on Saturday. Broad tweeted a picture of his injury, which required stitches and a trip to hospital, on Sunday morning and suggested he could play while wearing a protective mask.

Liam Plunkett was not deemed fit enough to return to the 13-man squad, meaning that Steven Finn keeps his place and could make a return to the Test side if Broad isn't risked. Plunkett, who played the first four Tests of the summer, was rested for England's win at the Ageas Bowl and was then ruled out with an ankle injury.

Broad was struck by a Varun Aaron bouncer that squeezed between the grille and peak of his helmet. He retired hurt, and bloodied, taking no part in India's second innings as the tourists were dismissed in 43 overs to give England an innings victory and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Speaking after the close, England captain Alastair Cook was hopeful that Broad would recover in time for the Oval Test. Broad is expected to have knee surgery at the end of the series, due to tendonitis, but Peter Moores, England's head coach, said Broad would play as long as the medical staff passed him fit, rather than take the opportunity to end his season early. Providing Broad did not suffer concussion, which has recently become a high-profile issue in several contact sports, he could be free to play with the added protection of a plastic face mask, such as those worn by a number of footballers.

"We'll see what the specialist says but my thought is that, if he's fit and there's no risk to him, we will play him," Moores said. "It is a big game at The Oval and we want to play him. He may end up playing in one of those football face masks."

England were not restricted by Broad's absence, despite James Anderson also suffering from illness, as Moeen Ali picked up four more wickets to take his series tally to 19. But although Chris Woakes started the collapse by removing M Vijay and Chris Jordan took two in two balls to finish the innings, England's back-up seamers only managed one other wicket between them over the two Test victories in Southampton and Manchester.

Woakes has two wickets at 129.50 from his three Tests - though he has bowled better than those numbers suggest against India - and Jordan has looked out of rhythm since coming back into the side. Ben Stokes, who played at Trent Bridge and Lord's but was dropped after making three successive ducks, remains an option, though he has only played 50-over cricket since then; Finn is continuing his rehabilitation after drastically losing his way on the Ashes tour but was expensive in a one-day appearance for the Lions on Friday.

Plunkett will not be considered as he continues to manage an ankle problem. He bowled with Yorkshire on Saturday but there was still some swelling and the county will examine his progress in Scarborough, where they play two Royal London Cup fixtures next week.

"Liam is pain-free and about to start bowling at 50%, but it is quite a tight time frame in terms of his availability for The Oval," Moores said.

The Oval will also provide an opportunity for Sam Robson to ensure he stays in the selectors' thoughts, with an almost eight-month gap until England play another Test. Robson is virtually a first-class specialist and will not be involved in England's plans for the World Cup but, after scoring a century and half-century in his first three Tests, his progress has stalled. England have stuck with him, however, rather than look at a number of potential options at opener, such as Michael Carberry, Nick Compton or Adam Lyth.

"Sam had an area where they have attacked him around off stump and he has got out a few times," Moores said. "Now he has been challenged, the key is how he responds. He can draw on the fact that he made a fantastic hundred at Headingley and he got a bit of a template of how he can play. That tells him he can play."

England squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samdanh on August 13, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    @Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist: Let us wait and see who has moved on - India or England after the last Test this series; and also how strong your personal perspective is after the final test this series and final Test of series in Aus. If continuous defeats overseas does not pain, it is something else altogether!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 13, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    @Samdanh, move-on mate. That loss is past now. We need to look to the future and at least my last comment looks to the future. After all it's a game. You lose some and you win some. It'll hurt for a while and then you move-on. You can't say the same with nose, life, head, arms etc once they are badly damaged! I think the blow to his nose must really hurt. So, get some perspective mate. Physical injuries are more painful and that threat shakes you up! Our bodies and life are more important than any damn result in a game! Broad must be a shaken man now which is good for India. If Varun can instill that fear in a couple of batsmen and indeed injure one more bowler, then that'll be a huge advantage for India as the match progresses.

  • espncricinfomobile on August 13, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    What ever indian said they gonna experience a 3-1 defeat here..

  • Samdanh on August 13, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    Pity Indian fans here who are airing bravado at the injury caused to Broad. Injury and pain caused by the innings defeat, despite Broad not returning to bowl in the India second innings, and Anderson bowling just a few, should be more hurting to all India fans. It is quite apparent from some of their views aired here. Pathetic, to say the least

  • Beertjie on August 12, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    OK it's a plastic face mask so no funny comments about the man in the iron mask. Still, I'll wager a quid it'll prove more durable than Cook's "steel'!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 12, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Good to know that he is doing ok. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Having said that, Indian pacers should target bouncers towards at least one more bowler on the England side; injure him just so much that he can't bowl for the rest of the match. If Broad plays (there's no way he is going to play - he is no Anil Kumble), then he should be targeted again ruthlessly. I'm sure England pacers will try and do the same to our bowlers.

  • MasterBlaster100 on August 12, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    This sounds a dangerous idea. Broad took a forceful blow in the head and should take a mandatory 8 count. Thank Broad for his efforts all summer and let him recover and then undergo the pending knee surgery. To play him at the Oval with all that bruising, a broken nose and possibly mild concussion sounds dangerous. England should do the best by Broad and leave him out.

  • dummy4fb on August 12, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    @JG2704..hehe good point...any one would get injured if hit on the nose with hard cork leather ball bowled by any bowler,,,and it does not reflect the quality of that bowler...silly thinking by some people,,,yes

  • dummy4fb on August 12, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    "Never underestimate Indian fast bowlers" - hmm, perhaps, Broad might have been hit but not many wickets were by such great fast bowlers in that last test I seem to recall.

  • mzm149 on August 11, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    I would love to see Broad bowl even a nastier bouncer at Varun Aaron.

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