London, July 18: England speedster Stuart Broad has beaten the odds to make it to the English squad facing India in the opening Test, at Lords, from July 21. On the back of an impressive match haul of 6/162 against Somerset, national selectors have reposed faith in him, choosing him over Steven Finn.
The venue of his latest exploits - Trent Bridge - where he reportedly engaged in a keen contest with Marcus Trescothick, indicated that he was finding his rhythm again.
"We watched him bowl here at Trent Bridge in the four-day game. There were signs he was getting back to where he was," Geoff Miller, the national selector, told a leading sports channel. "We know what he is capable of doing, and when he puts on that England shirt we feel sure he will show exactly that and produce the goods and make it difficult for India.
Broad has had a wishy-washy time of late, taking just 8 wickets in the three home-Tests against Sri Lanka and just two scalps in the subsequent ODI series. He was then dropped for the final match so that he could prepare for his county game.
Meanwhile, Broad faces competition (to make the final playing XI) from Tim Bresnan, who made a name for himself by playing a pivotal role in last Dec's Ashes series. Bresnan failed to build on his credentials since then, owning to a niggling calf injury. But even though Finn briefly replaced him in the national squad, Bresnan was brought straight back into the one-day side against Sri Lanka as soon as he recovered.
"Following the successful Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka we're pleased to be able to include Tim Bresnan in the Test squad after his excellent return from a calf muscle injury," Miller said.
Bresnan who also took 4/41 in a County Championship match against Worcestershire, seems more reliable than Finn in terms of maintaining control over his bowling. Such a feature might prove crucial in tying down the Indian batsmen.
Squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan.