STUART BROAD will bolster England's depleted fast-bowling ranks for the Commonwealth Bank Series finals - and enhance his bid for a World Cup place.
Leicestershire paceman Broad, 20, will join up with the squad for the best-of-three finals against Australia after being summoned from the bowling academy in Chennai.
Injuries to Jon Lewis (Achilles) and Chris Tremlett (back) left resources thin Down Under - both are returning to the UK before tomorrow's first final at the MCG.
Although Broad is considered to be on standby for any further niggles, it is not inconceivable he may win his sixth one-day cap, in front of an expected 75,000 crowd, if conditions favour seam.
"We didn't want to wait and suddenly panic if we got further injuries," said coach Duncan Fletcher.
"We haven't even got enough bowlers to cover ourselves on the A tour of Bangladesh. We are prepared to look at anyone but we feel Stuart Broad has a lot of potential and so we are looking at him."
Gloucestershire's Lewis forged an encouraging new-ball alliance with James Anderson at the start of the triangular tournament.
But it was broken when they both missed the Australia Day humiliation against the host country; neither has played since.
Like Anderson - who was sent home last week despite the England management declaring his back was pain-free - Lewis appears to be a cast-iron pick for the 15-man party to the West Indies.
Of his injury, Fletcher said: "It is a precautionary one where we want him to go back and someone have a good look at him. We're confident he'll be at the World Cup."
Now Broad offers the extra pace option, having spent only two days of a 10-day programme for the England A bowlers in India.
Michael Vaughan's chances of leading England against the Aussies in Melbourne for a second time - the first encounter finished in an eight-wicket defeat and sent Kevin Pietersen packing with a broken rib - are doubtful.
"You always worry about Michael because his captaincy experience is immense," said Fletcher.
"He has captained England successfully and if you've got a few wins under your belt you get confidence and believe your ability.
"He just felt the hamstring go a little bit. It is something you can feel after you have torn it and come back to play."
While Vaughan's impressive judgements in use of bowling changes, field placings and power plays were integral at the Gabba, so was the performance of Andrew Flintoff, the man who relinquished the leadership role after the Ashes whitewash.
Concern among the management about over-burdening their star player has not lessened despite handing him back the captaincy on a temporary basis last month.
Back in the ranks he inspired the rest of the attack with some special bursts from the Stanley Street End.
"From our point of view we feel when he is not captain he probably feels a little bit more free in his batting and bowling," said Fletcher.
"He feels as though there is a weight off his shoulders. He seems a lot more relaxed and anyone who is not captain of a side is a lot more relaxed."