England await Broad prognosis
The make-up of England’s bowling attack for tomorrow’s first Test will become clearer today when Stuart Broad is assessed by the tourists’ medical staff.
Broad is recovering from a back injury sustained during the one-day series against Bangladesh and a decision on his availability is expected sooner rather than later.
The 23-year-old was ruled out of the three-day warm-up against Bangladesh A, denying him some important game time, but he resumed net bowling midway through that match and was put through his paces with a 10-over practice spell yesterday.
The signs are that unless he suffers any further discomfort today he will be passed fit to lead the England line.
Reflecting on Broad’s condition, England captain Alastair Cook said: “It’s definitely not ideal. When a bowler has a back spasm it can come back very quickly.
“Yesterday was a very important day for him and we’ll see how he pulls up today. It’s a selection issue where we’re probably going to have to play it by ear but we’ll see how it goes and probably make a decision this morning.”
Tomorrow represents a momentous day for Cook, who will step out as England’s Test captain for the first time.
And, with a 3-0 ODI win already behind him, the Essex opener is approaching the game in a less fretful state of mind than he did the first practice game at the start of the tour,
“Before the first one-day warm-up I hardly slept at all,” he said. “I was thinking ‘who will bowl then’ and ‘who’s going to field there’ but I’ve I’ve slept well ever since then.
“A bit like the one-dayers, there is the same feeling of nerves but there is also pride that not many people have done what I’m about to do.
“For me it’s a huge challenge as captain. I feel ready. I’m genuinely excited and I feel a bit more settled in the role now.”
Cook has been content with his efforts as skipper so far but accepts anything other than a Test series victory would constitute failure.
“I’ve enjoyed the extra responsibility and I’ve been very pleased with how I’ve handled it as well,” Cook added. “Making the decisions I’ve had to make has been something I’ve enjoyed and so far we’ve made the right ones.
“You’d have to ask other people but I feel as though I’ve done the job really well. You are judged on results and so far it’s gone well.
“But we have come here to win both series. We have done the first job very well and we now have the second part. We want to win these Tests.”
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29