Alastair Cook desperate for good news on injured duo
England will have a clearer idea today about their crucial fast bowling resources for the Champions Trophy. Medical bulletins on Stuart Broad's bruised knee, Steve Finn's sore shins and the pregnancy of Tim Bresnan's wife, Hannah, may give the selectors a clue about what to do next.
On the other hand, they may not. Broad and Finn will be given every opportunity to recover after the poor showing of their replacements in the one-day series against New Zealand, which has effectively been practice for the ICC tournament starting in Cardiff on Thursday. The baby will arrive in his or her own good time and Bresnan will be given leave of absence from the squad.
There is general optimism about the chances of Finn and Broad recovering in time but that is now also accompanied by a sense of desperation. They went for scans yesterday which were being scrutinised overnight. If both respond to treatment in the next few days they will undoubtedly play in England's first match of the Champions Trophy against Australia on Saturday despite their lack of match practice.
It is not ideal but it is already being deemed better than the alternative. But if both remain unfit by Saturday, at least one of them will be replaced. England would not dare enter such a high-profile competition with over-stretched resources, especially with Bresnan likely to be away from the squad for a day or so.
Alastair Cook, England's captain, has not yet abandoned hope of his two senior bowlers making the side for the last match of the series against New Zealand tomorrow. Finn has stayed with the squad, which indicates he is almost ready to play, Broad left only because he lives in Nottingham where tomorrow's match is being played and will rejoin his colleagues today. The depth of England's bowling stocks appears to have been found wanting in the last week although Cook demurred at the idea that England's chances would be reduced if the absence of Broad and Finn continues.
"I think that would be doing a disservice to the other 13 guys in the squad," he said. "Clearly, you take two premier bowlers out of anyone's side, and it's going to hurt."
But England have been shaken by their poor form after the triumph against New Zealand in the Test series and the old adage of players improving for being out of the side has never looked truer than in the case of Broad and Finn.
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing Angel Di Maria fails to improve
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia