Bowlers boost England

  • Last Updated: November 11 2012, 13:02 GMT

Just days before the first Test, England were given a boost by their absentee bowlers on Sunday.

Stuart Broad bowls in the nets on Sunday

Stuart Broad bowled in the nets for the first time since bruising his heel against Mumbai A last week.

And Broad was joined by fellow seamer Steven Finn, who continued his own recovery from a thigh strain.

It was also announced that spinner Graeme Swann would return to the squad in India by Monday, after spending four days at home with his wife while his baby daughter was unwell.

Having missed the warm-up match against Haryana, all three could therefore be in contention to play in the first match of a four-Test series against India which gets under way on Thursday in Ahmedabad.

The positive news was welcomed by captain Alastair Cook, although he spoke with guarded optimism about his two tall fast bowlers after leading England to a draw in their four-day clash with Haryana.

"It is encouraging. It's great to see Stuart and Finny back bowling," he said.

"The next few days are vital for them. We must go into that game with a fully-fit attack.

"They have to be 100 per cent, because you see how hot it is here and how flat the wickets are."

Broad is expecting to test his fitness by bowling again on Tuesday as he and Finn try to mix caution with endeavour.

"In an ideal world, I'd certainly have liked them to have had more match bowling," added Cook.

"The one part of this preparation period that has not quite gone right is those two not getting some overs under their belt.

"But what we do know is they are quality performers, world-class bowlers. Stuart especially is experienced, been around a long time and knows what he's doing and when his body is right.

"We'll have to assess these guys over the next 24 to 48 hours, and make a decision on that in the next few days; clearly, we've got to be very careful.

"It'd be great if they were fully-fit, and had some overs under their belt, but they haven't."


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