Stuart Broad bowled almost 30 overs with a strained tendon in his right foot in the second Test against India and is hoping his efforts may yet help salvage a stalemate.
England’s hopes of batting out a minimum 150 overs took a significant dent when their captain Alastair Cook was lbw to the last ball of day four in Vizag, lbw to Ravindra Jadeja after the longest half-century of his career.
Broad, pictured, may have to miss the next Test in Mohali while his foot recovers but, before then, he was still hoping that England could sustain the fightback which began on Friday after they had stumbled to a first-innings 80 for five in reply to 455.
They still ended up with a deficit of 200 and, despite Broad’s figures of four for 33 to help bowl the hosts out for 204 second time round, the hosts remained strong favourites to go 1-0 up. Cook (54) and Haseeb Hameed defied India in an opening stand of 75 but both were gone in an end-of-play total of 87 for two, with a national record target of 405 to win all but out of the equation.
But Broad claims England have enduring belief they can claim a draw and head north for the third Test still all square.
“We’ve given ourselves a great chance,” he said. “If we can keep it quiet for the first hour-and-a-half tomorrow, the pressure will only grow on the Indian bowlers. Everyone believes it can be done.
“We obviously had a bad hour-and-a-half at the end of day two. But, since then, we’ve shown a lot of character. That’s all Cooky’s asked for really.
“For us to still be in this Test match coming into day five, from the position we were in at the end of day two, is a huge credit to us. Even today, we put a lot of pressure on the Indians, taking early wickets and not letting them declare.”
Broad and Adil Rashid shared eight wickets and India lost their last seven in the morning session – including captain Virat Kohli for 81.
England’s hopes then gradually rose, until Cook succumbed. “It’s always disappointing when you lose a wicket in the final over, especially someone as dogged and strong as Cooky,” said Broad.
“But the calmness and courage he shows, I think he’s set that lead we have to follow.
“If two or three batsmen tomorrow get stuck in like the two openers did today, we will save this Test match.”
As for his injury, he is anticipating several days limping around conspicuously before improvement comes in time, he hopes, for next month’s fourth Test in Mumbai.
“I think there are plans to get a ‘moon-boot’ on once this Test match has finished, to try to offload the tendon for a little bit for a few days.”