Broad place under threat
Out-of-form vice-captain Stuart Broad may face a battle to retain his place as England eye their biggest challenge yet in India.
Pace bowler Broad was passed fit despite suffering a virus on the eve of the second Test, and then appeared well short of his best in a match dominated by spin and famously won by England to level the four-match series at 1-1. Alastair Cook's tourists therefore have a realistic ambition again to become the first from England to win a series in India since 1984-85.
Their next stop is Kolkata on December 5, and with Steven Finn demonstrating his recovery from a thigh strain by taking four wickets for the England Performance Programme in Mumbai, Broad's inclusion is far from guaranteed.
Bowling coach David Saker has spelled out the magnitude of England's task, the "X-factor" Finn can bring to the team - and the Broad "issue" which must be confronted.
"To win (a series) over here is as big as any challenge," said Saker, whose two-and-a-half years so far with England have included an ICC World Twenty20 trophy and a historic Ashes win in his native Australia.
After Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann accounted for 19 of the 20 India wickets with spin at the Wankhede Stadium, and James Anderson bowled impressively too with scant reward, Broad may struggle to beat Finn to the second seamer's position at Eden Gardens.
Saker candidly acknowledged that Broad has a point to prove, saying: "There's a little bit of an issue, there's no doubt about it. He hasn't bowled as we would have liked, and he'd be the first to admit that.
"He's not the first bowler to come over here and find it hard. The great fast bowlers have had success over here. Stuart's probably not a great yet. He has to learn ways to become great - it's a learning time for him."
After his bowling stint on Tuesday, Finn tweeted: "Good to be back on the park today. 16 overs is gonna hurt in the morning though", and Saker is wary of assumptions about the tall seamer's fitness until he has safely negotiated the EPP's three-day match.
"We've got our fingers crossed he gets through, number one. If he gets through unscathed and bowls well, his name will definitely be talked about for selection," added Saker. "He's got that X-factor, a bit of pace, that height that always means you could get variable bounce over here - so his name will be bandied around for sure for that second seamer's spot."