Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2014 Contents England waits on
Stuart Broad did not train at The Oval yes-
terday but England said that was always the plan
and insisted he remains on course to be available
for the final Investec Test against India after
suffering a fractured nose from a Varun Aaron
bouncer at Old Trafford.
Broad retired hurt after the ball squeezed
between his grille and helmet on the third day at
Old Trafford. He was stitched up by the England
doctor at the ground before heading to hospital
where X-rays confirmed the fracture but a specialist
advised that the damage was not serious enough
to require surgery.
The initial moments after Broad was struck
looked nasty, as blood dripped on to the Old Traf-
ford pitch, but with the outcome not being as
serious as it appeared it could be his team-mates
have spotted a chance for some gentle ribbing,
with sympathy in short supply.
"It s not very pretty," Joe Root said. "He s not
got his boy band looks you d normally associate
with Stuart. 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 (tomorrow). He s obviously in good form
and will want to finish the series strongly with
the rest of us."
A picture posted by Broad on Twitter on Tuesday
showed him sporting a pair of black eyes but the
England camp have been confident that he would
not be kept out of the final Test of the season
and included him as part of an unchanged squad.
There have been suggestions, started by Broad,
that he may need to wear a protective mask - the
type seen in other sports after facial injuries -
although that may not be the case now with some
type of splint being another option considered.
Broad has been a key part of England s resur-
gence in the last two Tests, taking 6 for 25 at Old
Trafford to follow an important role at the Ageas
Root believes the secret to the change in fortunes
was how the team stuck together in the wake of
the Lord s defeat and when the threat of James
Anderson being banned was hanging over the
team, although to suggest England have been able
to "throw a punch back" was perhaps slightly
"The good thing that came from that was that
we didn t let it affect us," Root said. "That may
be one way where we did get slightly more tight.
It gave us another incentive to want to throw a
punch back at them.
"I don t think we can really rest on the fact
we ve played well in the last couple of games.
India are a very good side - we know that - and
we re going to have to make sure we do everything
we can to win this series comfortably." (ESPN-
Stuart Broad has seen a specialist after suffering a
fractured nose at Old Trafford. PHOTO: ESPNCRICINFO
Thursday, August 14, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The umbrellas went up in Galle almost
as soon as Angelo Mathews had swatted
away the winning runs for Sri Lanka.
Making their way back to the dressing
room as the drizzle intensified, Pakistan s
players must have wondered how on earth
they lost the Test match after scoring 451
in the first innings.
Whether it was their Test-match rustiness
or an outcome of over-caution in their sec-
ond innings, Pakistan simply didn t maintain
their standard of play over five days. Against
a team as buoyant as Mathews Sri Lanka,
you cannot afford to do that in the second
Test which starts today.
"If you take the last five or six games
that we ve played, we ve played some really
good cricket and it went down to the last
over more often than not. We ve been play-
ing pretty good cricket," said Mathews on
Sri Lanka s recent run of thrilling Test fin-
Over the following days, Pakistan s spirits
were further dampened by news of Saeed
Ajmal being reported for a suspect action.
It is a cliche that Pakistan are at their most
dangerous when they have their backs to
the wall, but Misbah-ul-Haq s team will
have to believe in that old cornered tigers
line as it tries to square the series at the
SSC. After a quietly impressive climb up
theTest rankings under Misbah, Pakistan are
in danger of dropping from third to sixth
if they lose the series.
"Every game is a new game regardless of
what happened in the previous game so we
are looking forward to win this one to level
the series and spoil Mahela s party," said
Misbah, reckoning that Pakistan can recover
from their first-Test loss.
Beating this Sri Lankan side, at a noto-
riously difficult venue for wicket-taking,
will be a difficult ask. More so when they
face a team that will want to give its most-
capped player a fitting farewell at his
favourite venue. Mahela Jayawardene will
play his 149th and final Test match, and
Sri Lankan cricket will never quite be the
same again without those silken drives and
late cuts from their No 4.
While filling the Mahela-shaped hole will
be a headache in the long-term, Sri Lanka
aren t without more immediate issues to
sort out. The opening combination isn t yet
settled, and a recall for Dimuth Karunaratne
suggests the team management aren t quite
convinced by Upul Tharanga. All three of
their first-choice fast bowlers are battling
one niggle or another, and a new-ball com-
bination of Dhammika Prasad and Chanaka
Welegedara doesn t look the most convinc-
ing, on paper.
Pakistan s batsmen will need to put pres-
sure on Sri Lanka s bowlers, and not let
Rangana Herath in particular get on top of
them. There is a growing feeling among
followers of Pakistan cricket that the formula
that led to the team s rise under Misbah -
of cautious batting and run-strangling by
spin---is in need of change, and that the
natural style of their younger batsmen such
as Ahmed Shehzad should be given more
space to express itself. A flat batting track
and an injury-hit attack will afford Pakistan
the opportunity to try and appease their
fans. Whether they do so or not remains
to be seen. (ESPNcricinfo)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni s joke after los-
ing at Old Trafford that India got two extra
days off might not have gone down well
with some fans, but the players have man-
aged to fit in a lot of action in the time
off.Some have seen Manchester United play,
some Chelsea, and there has also been a
long paintball event. When they took the
field two days before the Test, Dhoni was
missing. In his absence, Duncan Fletcher
and Virat Kohli addressed the huddle, and
India even played a different sport to warm
up. Dhoni has always been dead set on foot-
ball, but yesterday, they played a version of
handball with white cricket balls.
Dhoni s absence raised a few doubts about
his availability for the final Test - he has
been taking blows on the body through the
series - but it turned out he took leave from
training to go for a shooting session at a
firing range. That Naman Ojha hardly got
any batting practice means Dhoni should
be fit to play.
Another person whose fitness India can
be optimistic about is Ishant Sharma. The
seamer missed two Tests to a "leg injury",
which the Indian management will not elab-
orate on, but from towards the end of the
Old Trafford Test, Ishant has been gradually
increasing his bowling load. Tuesday was
a day off for the team, but on Wednesday
Ishant came to The Oval and bowled at full
pelt for about half an hour, and how he
wakes up after this bowling load might
decide whether he will play on Friday. Ishant
was Man of the Match in India s win at
Lord s, and the bowling has not quite looked
the same after his injury. If he plays, he
should replace Pankaj Singh.
Gautam Gambhir, who struggled on his
comeback at Old Trafford, seems set to get
another chance. The batsman spent a long
time in the nets, working hard with Trevor
Penney who gave him throw-downs. The
two seemed to be discussing the outside
edge, and how to avoid it. India are yet to
enjoy a 50-run opening stand in eight Tests
since they left home for South Africa late
last year, but they are not too keen to change
the combination again.
Shikhar Dhawan, the opener who was
dropped for Gambhir, and Rohit Sharma,
who has played only in Southampton, hardly
got a bat in the nets. This could point to
India continuing with five specialist batsmen
followed by Dhoni and allrounders.
One of the allrounders could change,
though. In an interesting twist, India gave
Stuart Binny a long hit at the start of the
training session, alongside R Ashwin, which
could mean a swap with Ravindra Jadeja,
but the session was not as organised as
India s earlier ones.
Binny for Jadeja might just be an option
India want to keep open. Jadeja and the
opening slot are two big concerns for India.
Even though Jadeja played a big part in
India s win at Lord s, his batting is low per-
centage, and his bowling mostly one-dimen-
sional. He was not present for the slip-
catching practice at the end of the session.
Only M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane took
catches there. India s fans will hope that
just two slips is not a sign of things to come.
South Africa s left-arm fast bowler Beu-
ran Hendricks has been ruled out of the
ODI series against Zimbabwe after sus-
taining a back injury while playing for
South Africa A in Australia.
Hendricks played five matches for South
Africa A in the quadrangular A-team series
but missed the first four-day game against
Australia A in Townsville last week.
According to CSA, Hendricks has suf-
fered a lumbar strain and has been advised
a period of rest and recovery. The board
has decided not to send a replacement for
Hendricks as the ODI squad already has
pacers in Marchant de Lange, Kyle Abbott,
Wayne Parnell and the uncapped
South Africa s frontline pace bowlers -
Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Phi-
lander - have been rested for the ODI series,
which begins on August 17, but will return
for the tri-series against Zimbabwe and
Pakistan hopes to spoil
Ishant a chance to play at The Oval
Ishant Sharma had missed the last two
Tests with a leg injury.
Injured Hendricks out Zimbabwe ODIs
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