Fifth Test: Alastair Cook believes Stuart Broad will be fit to face India on Friday
Last Updated: 14/08/14 4:00pm
Alastair Cook expects Stuart Broad to take his place in England's line-up against India but will wait until Friday morning before making a final decision.
Broad's place in the team at the Kia Oval had been in doubt after his nose was broken by a bouncer from Varun Aaron in last week's victory at Old Trafford.
The win gave England a 2-1 lead going into the final Test and Cook is desperate to finish the job with Broad hopefully leading his attack alongside record-chasing Jimmy Anderson.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ the England captain said: "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 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."
Asked if Broad's inclusion in the side is vital to England's chances of securing a 3-1 scoreline in the five-Test series, Cook said: "Without a doubt.
"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."
And Cook took time to heap praise on Anderson who needs eight more victims to relieve Sky Sports expert Ian Botham of his position as England's record wicket taker.
Eight at the Oval will take the Lancashire paceman to 384 and Cook admits it will be a richly deserved honour.
"It will be an amazing achievement if Jimmy does it in this game," he said, "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."
Watch England take on India - the 200th live England Test on Sky Sports - from the Kia Oval from 10am on Friday morning, live on Sky Sports 2.