Cook: Broad should be ready to go

England

England captain Alastair Cook says he expects Stuart Broad to line up alongside the rest of the team when the fifth and final Test against India starts on Friday.

England captain Alastair Cook says he expects Stuart Broad to line up alongside the rest of the team when the fifth and final Test against India starts on Friday.

Despite his optimism, however, he confirmed a final decision on the seamer's availability would only be made on Friday morning.

Broad's nose was broken by a Varun Aaron bouncer during last week's victory at Old Trafford.

"We think Stuart will be absolutely fine. We will wait until tomorrow morning in case something unusual happens overnight, but we are not expecting anything like that at all," he said.

"He batted this morning and he bowled six or seven overs and didn't get any pain from it. So we are expecting him to be absolutely fine. I'm not sure if he will wear a mask, whether for batting or bowling, but I don't think it will affect his performance at all."

Cook admits that Broad's inclusion is vital to his team completing a Test series victory. They currently lead India 2-1 heading into Friday's final match at Kia Oval.

"Without a doubt," he said when asked if Broad's participation was crucial to the final result.

"He and Jimmy… you don't get a partnership like they have without being a world class bowler. They have taken over 500 wickets together and any captain would want those two in the team.

"It's great news for us and the England side that Broady has come through that blow. He likes performing in the big games and this is another big game for us.

"Our aim now is to finish India off in style. We are not going there with any other mindset. There is a game to win and we have to use that in isolation and not think if we survive this we win the series.

"We want to go out there to win the game. The mindset we had after Lord's when it was doom and gloom after we didn't play very well, we came out fighting when we really needed it.

"But just because we have won a couple of games we can't relax at all. The atmosphere around the side has been lifted but we have to be tough on ourselves and earn the right to put on a good performance."

The match could be a big one for James Anderson as well. The paceman needs eight more wickets to surpass Ian Botham's record as England's leading wicket taker.

"It will be an amazing achievement if Jimmy does it in this game," said Cook.

"And it will likely mean that England will be in a very strong position.

"We saw last week the guts and determination he showed when he was not well. That was extraordinary and that tells me and everyone what a bloke he is.

"And to back that up with his talent and skill means he is a very, very talented cricketer."

Botham said he wouldn't be surprised if Anderson breaks his record at the Kia Oval.

"Jimmy's a terrific bowler. He's been amazing in this series and looks to be back to his best," he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he did it at the Oval and to get eight or more wickets in the match is a great bet."

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