England in Sri Lanka 2012 March 30, 2012

Broad ruled out of Colombo Test


Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo after being diagnosed with a right calf strain. He will return to the UK immediately and the injury could prevent him joining the IPL for the second year running.

Broad was clearly limping during England's failed second-innings run chase in Galle and was also increasingly hampered when bowling as the match progressed. He was sent for scans shortly after the match.

He wrote on Twitter: "Annoyed to be going home a week early. Not a major injury just couldn't get through a whole Test match."

He entered the Test under a slight cloud having injured his left ankle when tripping over the boundary rope before the first warm-up match in Colombo but, after playing the second practice match, was declared fit for the Test.

It was not Broad's best game of recent times. He bowled eight no-balls one of which cost England the wicket of Prasanna Jayawardene which would have ended Sri Lanka's second innings with a lead of 293. He was also warned for running on the pitch and did not appear to quite be in rhythm although removed Tillakaratne Dilshan in both innings.

England have opted not to replace Broad in the squad which could limit options if another fast bowler gets injured or sick before the Test starts. Steven Finn will be the favourite to come in following his impressive displays in the one-day series against India and Pakistan where he has bowled with pace and accuracy.

The other alternative is Tim Bresnan, the Yorkshire allrounder, and he would compensate for the loss of Broad's batting. However, with England needing to win the Test to square the series and retain their No. 1 ranking they will have to pick the bowling line-up most likely to take 20 wickets.

It could be that both Bresnan and Finn will be called in if England decide they need an extra pace-bowling option. Bresnan could bat at No. 7 in place of Samit Patel, but that would leave a long tail of Finn, James Anderson and Monty Panesar.

This injury is the latest Broad has suffered over the last 18 months. He was ruled out of the last three Ashes Tests in Australia after suffering a stomach muscle injury in Adelaide then picked up a fractured rib during the World Cup. During the home one-day series against India he damaged his shoulder which ruled him out of the rest of the summer and the return contest in India. He returned to action in the UAE against Pakistan and was outstanding during the Test series where he took 13 wickets 20.46.

Broad was due to join Kings XI Punjab at the IPL straight after this tour but he could now miss the tournament altogether if the England management take a cautious approach with one of their premier fast bowlers ahead of another hectic home season which includes six Tests, 13 ODIs and four Twenty20s for which Broad is captain.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on April 2, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on I mentioned this as one of my reasons for going for a 5 man attack - period - was the workload thing and injury due to a strain and could see this as an accident waiting to happen. I know Broad's injury wasn't a strain but he is very prone and while we can't leave him out incase he gets injured I think we should have had a bit more foresight. I mean say they play 2 seamers in the next one and something happens to Jimmy during the match? And these selectors are supposed to "cover ever every angle" - Rubbish.

  • V.L on April 1, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer Playing 2 spinners is not a bad idea at all. There was turn in the surface as we have seen Herath nd Randiv bowl pretty well. The inability to bowl doosras, quicker ones, carrom balls hurt Englnd more than anything else. These variations are the essential weapons of a spinner's armory. Finn is a better bowler than Broad IMHO so no issues there. Its the batsmen that need to refine their technique and fast. Like I said they should not wait for the ball to come to them but should rather reach out and try to negate the turn. Until they do that they will be ducks in a shooting range for the Lankan spinners!

  • Mark on March 31, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    @JG, what alarmed me with the prospect of Broad and Anderson being the only seamers was the prospect of Trott or Bell taking the new ball in the second innings if someone gor injured (look at my comments after Bopara was ruled out of bowling). With Broad an injury doubt before the match, it really was asking for trouble not to have any kind of realistic seam back-up unless the pitch was going to be a dustbowl with seamers almost irrelevant.

  • John on March 31, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    @@CricketingStargazer - PS - Wasn't just this test. In the last 3 tests we had times in the ascendancy and only the 1st test vs Pak we were totally outplayed from start to finish

  • Mark on March 31, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    @JG, we agree. I was saying an attack of Broad, Anderson and Brenan, backed up by Swann and Monty (however, Monty is back in his "I need 2 extra wickets each match to make up for what I give away" mode that made Ashley Giles a better pick). I don't like the idea of Broad at 7 yet, but it was probably the best option that we had, especially knowing that his fitness was in doubt. I wish they had played Tim Bresnan more in the ODIs and the warm-ups, but it's not a perfect world and if he is good enough, he'll cope. We'll agree to differ over Samit Patel. He was picked as a batsman and, in India, he looked out of his depth bowling, but useful with the bat. However, in the end it was a Hail Mary "win the toss and bat" team. When I saw that we were bowling, I feared the worst.

  • John on March 31, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    @jb633 on (March 31 2012, 08:19 AM GMT) Hello. My team would still be Strauss,Cook,Trott,KP,Patel , Prior , Bres,Swann ,Jimmy,Finn,Monty. Patel over Bopara because of his overs. Even with a 5 man attack sometimes a fresh option can help. His bowling figures for the last match were 18 overs 2-36 and I feel he may have been underused as he dried up runs and sometimes - although this may sound negative - that can be the way to go on such pitches. Also while Ravi did ok in UAE it was in the ODIs and still only scored around 50 twice and I feel there was considerably less pressure albeit against the same bowlers. I like your unique ideas however I like Strauss as a captain although if he has a hand in the selection then I'd have to take some points off although I feel Cook will also show favouritism towards the batsmen

  • John on March 31, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - To be honest - I said to play Broad, but the that would have been in a 5 man attack , probably along with Finn. I'm not sure if Bres is 100% either so playing him INSTEAD of Broad may also have backfired. So if they were going to stick with their rigid 4 (2 paceman) I'd probably not have risked SB , but in a 5 man attack I think I would have. Hindsight is an easy thing. Also I would count Patel as a batsman who bowls a bit so on that front he failed but I thought he bowled tidily , taking a couple of wickets and drying up the runs.Not sure re Strauss, I still like his onfield captaincy but I wish (dep on how much say he has) they were more flexible with formation. Personally I think they are afraid of dropping one of the big 5 , but why not? It doesn't need to be for more than 1 test.

  • Mark on March 31, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    @JG, what annoys me about this Test is it is one that we should have won comfortably. On the first morning it was obvious that Broad was not fit, but he had to bowl anyway and we lost control. With three spinners and only two seamers we had to bowl a spinner even if it wasn't turning and the control that the new ball had given just evaporated. With Tim Bresnan able to reverse it and spell Broad and Anderson, I really doubt that Sri Lanka would have reached 200. Anyway, too late now. A risky selection has though caused an unnecessary captaincy crisis. Like Michael Vaughan in 2006, I think that Andrew Strauss has taken the side as far as he can. He's now 35 and not in prime form (although England's SECOND highest runscorer this year... yes!) If we lose this series he'll resign, no doubt about it. However, I think the plan was for him to take England England through to the end of next year's Ashes and then hand over. Now, I think that it is unlikely that he'll go beyond this summer.

  • John on March 31, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (March 31 2012, 10:53 AM GMT) Guess it depends when it was written and how bad his injury is? I'd prefer him not to play IPL. The guy is one of our best )if not tee best) performers and no disrespect to IPL but Broad seems injury prone and the last thing I'd want to see is him getting injured when playing in a meaningless (to us) overseas domestic cricket festival. PS I actually have nothing against IPL but I'd prefer our specialist ODI/T20 players to play it than a guy who plays all forms for England,

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I would play both Finn and Bresnan meaning Patel misses out. Finn was very effective in the one day series and Bresnan's all-round abilities compensate for those lost by Broad's absence. My main concern is KP. In the four tour tests he has scored just 100 runs @ 12.5... does he still have the wherewithal to play for England, or is the lure of IPL just too great? There are a number of young batsmen on the way up who must be close for selection... It has been a most disappointing winter, but I hope lessons will be learned so that next winter in India won't produce similar results...

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