Stuart Broad bowled through the pain barrier to claim the wickets of both Indian openers on the third day in Visakhapatnam following the diagnosis of a strained tendon in his right foot.
The 30-year-old has been in the wars during the second Test with this foot problem – one which has meant him hobbling around in the outfield – adding to the deep cut on his right wrist that he suffered during the series opener in Rajkot last week but that continues to reopen when diving to stop the ball.
England’s management were already considering whether to rest Broad for the third Test in Mohali next week as part of a policy to keep their seam bowlers fresh and after the results of Friday night’s scan were made public, this latest niggle will probably make up their minds on the matter.
Broad has been cleared to continue bowling for the remainder of the current match, with the pain not preventing him from sending down a hostile spell in India’s second innings that saw Murali Vijay caught at gully for three when edging the ball on to his pads and a caught behind that accounted for KL Rahul on 10.
This new-ball burst was an encouraging sign for his prospects in the remainder of the series on a day when England’s 255 all out left them staring at a 1-0 deficit after two Tests. Their total owed much to half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes, who demonstrated the application that was missing in the side’s top-order collapse on day two.
“I think that was natural to show more fight and we will need to show it throughout he rest of the Test and the tour,” said Bairstow, who made 53 from 152 balls and held firm for 44.1 overs with Stokes in a stand of 110. “We complement each other as left and right-handed batsmen, we rotate the strike pretty well, with a combination of calming each other down – hard to believe as two redheads out there, I know – but it seems to work quite nicely.
“There’s runs to be had on the pitch when it comes to batting last – whenever that is – that will give us confidence. Everyone can see there is uneven bounce so when it comes to that, if there’s a ball with your name on it then it has your name on it, but you just need grit your teeth and crack on.”
With Broad’s two injuries and Zafar Ansari missing much of the second day due to illness, Bairstow himself nearly added to the list of casualties when heading out to bat in the morning session, taking a tumble on the outfield that jarred his knee and left him mildly embarrassed to boot.
Bairstow added: “I tripped up and made myself look like a wally. I hurt my knee a bit so I turned round and went back for some treatment. My boot got lodged in the turf and just meant that I twisted a bit but I should be all right. It was sore, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t affect me too much. It was just a pain in the backside … or rather the knee.”