Stuart Broad came through stage one of his rehabilitation for the Lord’s Test and must now satisfy the selectors again that he’s worth his place ahead of Tim Bresnan.
Both seamers were included in the 12-man England squad, but it is unlikely they will take the field together against India on Thursday. National selector Geoff Miller explained that a watching brief in Nottingham had persuaded him and his colleagues Broad is returning to form in time for England’s major assignment of the summer against the number one Test team.
Broad, almost bereft of international wickets so far this season as he has made his way back after a winter wrecked by injury, was dropped for England’s NatWest Series decider against Sri Lanka last weekend to accommodate an extra spinner at Old Trafford. He was instead prescribed a four-day County Championship match for title-holders Nottinghamshire at home to Somerset last week, and responded with match figures of 53.4-13-162-6.
“We watched him bowl here at Trent Bridge in the four-day game,” Miller said. “There were signs he was getting back to where he was.”
Bresnan is back in the squad for the first time since helping his country to the Ashes series victory in Australia last winter. While Broad was injured for the last three matches of that series, Bresnan came of age with 11 wickets in the last two - before succumbing to a calf strain which recurred to rule him out of this summer’s 1-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka. It is the Notts seamer, though, rather than his Yorkshire counterpart who probably starts this week as favourite to fill the last place in an England attack otherwise populated by the pace of Chris Tremlett and James Anderson and Graeme Swann’s world-beating off-spin.
Squad: AJ Strauss (capt), AN Cook, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, IR Bell, EJG Morgan, MJ Prior (wkt), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, CT Tremlett, JM Anderson, TT Bresnan.