LONDON, August 13: England’s Stuart Broad and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni both missed their teams’ respective training sessions at The Oval on Wednesday ahead of the fifth Test, which starts on Friday. Fast-medium bowler Broad was at the ground but did not take part in practice while Dhoni, who wasn’t on the site, was said by India management to be resting.
Broad, man-of-the-match with a first innings six for 25 in England’s innings and 54 run win in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, suffered a broken nose while batting after being hit by a bouncer from India fast bowler Varun Aaron. It is expected that Broad will play at The Oval, with the paceman having suggested he might do so wearing a face mask. And England’s Joe Root was confident Wednesday that Broad would take the new ball alongside James Anderson.
“It’s not very pretty,” said Root. “He’s not got his ‘boy-band’ looks you’d normally associate with Stuart,” the Yorkshire batsman added. “He’s milking it definitely…as you’ll probably have seen on all the social network sites. “But I’m sure he’ll be desperate to play on Friday. He’s obviously in good form…and will be wanting to finish the series strongly with the rest of us.”
England’s victory in Manchester saw them continue their fight back from 1-0 down in the series after a 95-run defeat in the second Test at Lord’s was followed by a 266-run win in the third Test at Southampton. They are now 2-1 up with just one to play.
Root said India’s ultimately futile attempts to get Anderson banned from the series under the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct for his confrontation with India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge had worked to England’s advantage.
“That may be one way where we did get slightly more tight,” said Root. “It gave us another incentive to want to throw a punch back at them. “The good thing that came from that was that we didn’t let it affect us.”
However, Root added: “I don’t think we can really rest on the fact we’ve played well in the last couple of games. We will really try to nail down what has been a good little bit of form in the last two games. “We’re definitely not going to take India lightly.”
India have troubled England’s batsmen with their use of the short ball throughout the series, a reminder of their struggles against Mitchell Johnson during the 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia and the potential problems the left-arm fast bowler may pose in England next year.
“We know India are going to come very hard at us, and we’ll have to make sure we’ve got all bases covered and not be caught off guard,” said Root. “That (short ball) will be one area I’m sure a lot of the lads will be working on within their own games.”