Broad and Finn return to nets

Gazette Series: Stuart Broad was back in the nets on Sunday Stuart Broad was back in the nets on Sunday

England are beginning to hope they may have a first-choice attack in operation against India in the first Test after all, as both Stuart Broad and Steven Finn continue to progress from injury.

Broad and Finn both emerged unscathed from a handful of overs off their full run in the nets on Sunday, Broad bowling for the first time since bruising his heel last week and Finn for the second after the thigh strain he suffered almost a fortnight ago.

"It is encouraging. It's great to see Stuart and Finny back bowling," said England captain Alastair Cook. "The next few days are vital for them. We must go into that game with a fully-fit attack. They have to be 100%, because you see how hot it is here and how flat the wickets are."

Broad is expecting to test his fitness by bowling again on Tuesday as he and Finn try to mix caution with endeavour.

"In an ideal world, I'd certainly have liked them to have had more match bowling," added Cook.

"The one part of this preparation period that has not quite gone right is those two not getting some overs under their belt.

"But what we do know is they are quality performers, world-class bowlers. Stuart especially is experienced, been around a long time and knows what he's doing and when his body is right."

The next two days therefore will be key.

"We'll have to assess these guys over the next 24 to 48 hours, and make a decision on that in the next few days; clearly, we've got to be very careful," added Cook.

"It'd be great if they were fully-fit, and had some overs under their belt, but they haven't."

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