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November 13, 2008
Stuart Broad has been declared fit for the first ODI against India in Rajkot on Friday after recovering from a knee injury picked up during a warm-up match in Mumbai. Ravi Bopara earned a recall to the side with Luke Wright missing out following a poor summer.
Broad's recovery will be a relief to England, who are already without Ryan Sidebottom, ruled out with an Achilles problem. Peter Moores, the England coach, said Sidebottom could be considered for the second ODI in Indore though the management will be conscious not to play him too early.
England have decided to go with one spinner, Samit Patel, with fast bowler James Anderson recalled in place of Graeme Swann.
Kevin Pietersen, the England captain, expected Bopara - whose last ODI was against South Africa in August - to succeed on the Indian pitches, though he hasn't bowled yet on this tour. "He's been on the sidelines for a lot of the cricket we've played for the last however long," Pietersen said. "He's a very quick learner, he wants to learn and he's also willing to ask questions. He's really impressed me in the short term I've been captain and also when I've played alongside him as a player."
England lost their second warm-up game after being bowled out for an embarrassing 98 by a Mumbai Cricket Association XI and Pietersen said the lesson to be learnt was not to take anything for granted. "Maybe there was an assumption that somebody would get a partnership and we'd go on and do it and it didn't happen."
Moores said the players were keen to take on India, who beat them 5-1 in the ODIs on the last tour in 2006. "They want to show how much they have matured as a team. I think we are ready and up for the challenge," said Moores. "We are looking to get off to a good start, put some pressure on India and build some confidence."
England squad for 1st ODI: Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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