Bresnan slots in as fears over the key man subside

So far, so routine for England. No tour would be complete, indeed no tour could begin, without an injury scare to a major player. It duly arrived in the nick of time yesterday. Stuart Broad, a key member of the party in all forms of the game, had his right arm put into a sling and was packed off to hospital for a scan.

The mutterings around the camp indicated this was much more than the precautionary visit that England cricketers make for what seems like every niggle, testing the technology available in health services around the world.

After the results were examined last night, it was reported, to the immense relief of the England camp, that there is no major damage. But Broad will miss at least the next two matches, including the second warm-up today against the Warriors in the diamond town of Kimberley, while treatment continues. He is far from a certainty for the start of the one-day series.

He landed awkwardly on his right shoulder while diving in the field during the opening warm-up match against Diamond Eagles in Bloemfontein on Friday. Although he was moving to his left, his elbow stuck in the ground and he twisted involuntarily.

Presumably, Broad would be replaced in England's line-up by Tim Bresnan, who covered himself in glory with his valiant 80 against Australia in the Champions Trophy semi-final last month but has not come to South Africa as a first choice. It is typical of England – though down to bad luck rather than risky planning on this occasion – that they should lose an important player at the start of a tour. In recent years it has happened time and again, with Andrew Flintoff frequently being involved, so England will take no risks with Broad.

What was decidedly not routine was the way England played in their opening warm-up match. Too often at the start of tours they have been diffident and hesitant, but on Friday, in overwhelming the Diamond Eagles by 185 runs, they were clinical and efficient in all departments.

Three players made half-centuries, there was a composed century stand for the second wicket, full advantage was taken of the batting powerplay, the fast bowlers, Broad and Jimmy Anderson, made immediate incisions and the fielding was dynamic. It simply looked as if England meant business.

In a series of five matches, the likelihood is that most of the 16 players will be used. But the jockeying for positions has clearly begun for the opening 50-over international a week on Friday. Jonathan Trott established an early convincing case for his inclusion with a crisp 85. Low-key though the occasion was, the innings was remarkable because it simply looked inevitable.

Something will have to give, however, to make way for Kevin Pietersen, who will at last rejoin the squad – for the first time since the Lord's Test against Australia – in Johannesburg on Wednesday. While Trott is not yet a shoo-in, he could open the innings in place of Joe Denly, who has yet to turn solid starts into reasonable attainment.

In the middle order, Eoin Morgan (pictured) has made admirable, fearless progress. As he again showed in the closing overs on Friday, he is bringing something refreshing to the batting. What he must do is nail when to be orthodox and when to improvise – which he does with élan.

Morgan said: "It's fantastic to have Kevin back but obviously it will create a lot of competition in the side, which moving forward we want to have because it will give depth to the squad." He was talking about a different kind of depth from those that England have plumbed in one-day cricket too often, and if they can find it they have a chance in the next few weeks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot