CRICKET : England will be reinforced by Stuart Broad’s pace for Friday’s third one-day international at Newlands – but must wait to see whether off-spinner Graeme Swann is fit to face South Africa.
England will be reinforced by Stuart Broad’s pace for Friday’s third one-day international at Newlands – but must wait to see whether off-spinner Graeme Swann is fit to face South Africa.
Andrew Strauss’ tourists went 1-0 up with three to play, thanks to an impressive seven-wicket win at Centurion last weekend. If they win again on Friday they cannot lose the five-match series – and mindful of the high stakes, Strauss was delighted to confirm Broad is set to return from his shoulder injury.
“It’s a huge boost,” said the captain. “He’s been chomping on the bit to get out on the park for a couple of weeks now – and the minor niggle he had has proved quite persistent.”
He added: “But he seems 100% fit now – which is great.”
Broad injured himself in the field during England’s opening tour match in Bloemfontein at the start of this month.
After initial fears he might have hurt himself badly, it soon became apparent the problem in his right shoulder was not so serious.
He has, however, had to sit out almost three weeks – and Strauss observed: “He gives us other options with the new ball, and we’re really looking forward to having him back.
“I think he can have a big part to play throughout the course of this tour.”
There is less certainty about Swann, who has been troubled by a side injury which ruled him out of the equation at Centurion.
“We probably just need to see how he [Swann] pulls up today,” Strauss reported. “Wednesday was the first time he has bowled, so we’ll have to take a view on Friday to see whether he is fit.”