England v South Africa, 1st Test, The Oval July 18, 2012

Onions doubtful for first Test

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Graham Onions' chances of playing in the first Test against South Africa were receded further when he was unable to train on Wednesday at The Oval because of a hamstring strain.

Onions, the Durham fast bowler, is in England's 13-man squad as an extra pace bowler and after playing in the third Test against West Indies at Edgbaston had hoped to beat Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn for a place against South Africa. But he was not involved in Wednesday morning's net practice.

He has not yet been ruled out of contention to play when the first of a three-Test series starts on Thursday but the injury has not done his prospects any good. Even if fully fit, Onions faced stiff competition to fill a third seamer role, with Bresnan and Finn the leading candidates for the position.

Onions has taken 32 wickets at 29.90 in nine Tests for England - including 10 wickets as England regained the Ashes in 2009. But he suffered a career-threatening back injury and was ruled out of the 2010 season, only returning to Test action as James Anderson and Stuart Broad were rested for the Edgbaston Test this summer, where he returned 4 for 88.

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  • POSTED BY MartinC on | July 19, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    @RandyOz Its an interesting commentary on the current state of Australian cricket when you have to hope for South Africa to give England a good game rather than your home Country.

    Just as an aside how do you come up with the 'journeyman' tag for Onions. He is a Durham boy and has only ever played for that County. Of his 9 Tests so far 3 were against Australia in 2009 Ashes (won by England 2-1 as I'm sure you recall) and he took 10 wickets with a best of 4-58. Useful for a 'journeyman' who is about the 5th best seamer in England's squad.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 19, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @CSmith1985 on (July 18 2012, 15:27 PM GMT), I don't think anyone is forgetting that. I'm certainly not. That still doesn't mean that he would have been selected here. I think that most people believe that Bresnan will be selected if fit, if for no other reason than he 's the man in possession and England usually don't drop someone without compelling reason. If Bresnan is injured though, despite the fact that Onions perhaps out-bowled Finn in that last WI Test, most people see Finn as a star in the making and he has bowled well in ODIs since then.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 18, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @5wombats on (July 18 2012, 13:01 PM GMT) RE "Fight Fire With Fire" - have you been watching too many of the Sky adverts? Seriously , Onions would unlikely have played but I hope it's just a little niggle. Re fighting fire with fire/going for the jugular - however we word it - 5 bowlers would be doing that especially if there's weather about , having 5 bowlers is always going to be more likely to force a result. Anyway back to reality I think they'll go for Bres unless he's unfit and TBH , Bres adds a variation as he is better with the old ball so I'd probably stick with him.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | July 18, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    Thiis filthy weather would probably make Oniions an even bet in my view, but I would stick with Bresnan both to lengthen the batting under cloud cover, because is most likely to mop up with all his varieties and because he brings luck it would seem.

  • POSTED BY woodhaven on | July 18, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Anyway he would have been in the sidelined even if he was fit. English bowling attack is too strong

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 18, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Onions would only have played if there'd been an injury to the three first picks. All the same, it is not good news for someone who has worked extremely hard to get back in, or near, the side - cruel luck indeed. BTW, I was reading about the last time that England was the premier Test side - pre-ranking days of course - in the 1950s, prior to the Ashes series in '58-'59, & it struck me that Bresnan is our modern Trevor Bailey, although Bres is a more free-scoring bat than the Boil ever was. But both TB & TB (!) were/are the engine-room of the side, less eye-catching than some others but - by heavens - as reliable as the rock of Gibraltar. Carrying on the parallels, I'd have Onions down as Peter Loader, a fine bowler who seldom got a look in because of Trueman, Statham, Bailey, Bedser - and Tyson for a short while.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | July 18, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    May the best of the ( South African ) teams win !!

  • POSTED BY CSmith1985 on | July 18, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Is everyone forgetting he was the best bowler in the last West Indies test? Its a real shame I think he would have had a good chance of selection and SA have been quoted saying they don't like to face him.

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | July 18, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @RandyOz, I bet Australia would love to have a bowler the quality of onions in their side at the moment. I seem to have read in the article he took a 10for last time he played against your lot? and that was back in '09 when Punter still had some quality of eyesight left. As for journeyman, he's only played for one county.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Onions no Onions.....or Spring Onions....SA would dominate the series....English have no answer to Dale Steyn, Morkel and Philander....on the batting front..Kallis and Amla can bat for days...the only thing English can do is pray that they don't suffer a whitewash

  • POSTED BY MartinC on | July 19, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    @RandyOz Its an interesting commentary on the current state of Australian cricket when you have to hope for South Africa to give England a good game rather than your home Country.

    Just as an aside how do you come up with the 'journeyman' tag for Onions. He is a Durham boy and has only ever played for that County. Of his 9 Tests so far 3 were against Australia in 2009 Ashes (won by England 2-1 as I'm sure you recall) and he took 10 wickets with a best of 4-58. Useful for a 'journeyman' who is about the 5th best seamer in England's squad.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 19, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @CSmith1985 on (July 18 2012, 15:27 PM GMT), I don't think anyone is forgetting that. I'm certainly not. That still doesn't mean that he would have been selected here. I think that most people believe that Bresnan will be selected if fit, if for no other reason than he 's the man in possession and England usually don't drop someone without compelling reason. If Bresnan is injured though, despite the fact that Onions perhaps out-bowled Finn in that last WI Test, most people see Finn as a star in the making and he has bowled well in ODIs since then.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 18, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @5wombats on (July 18 2012, 13:01 PM GMT) RE "Fight Fire With Fire" - have you been watching too many of the Sky adverts? Seriously , Onions would unlikely have played but I hope it's just a little niggle. Re fighting fire with fire/going for the jugular - however we word it - 5 bowlers would be doing that especially if there's weather about , having 5 bowlers is always going to be more likely to force a result. Anyway back to reality I think they'll go for Bres unless he's unfit and TBH , Bres adds a variation as he is better with the old ball so I'd probably stick with him.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | July 18, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    Thiis filthy weather would probably make Oniions an even bet in my view, but I would stick with Bresnan both to lengthen the batting under cloud cover, because is most likely to mop up with all his varieties and because he brings luck it would seem.

  • POSTED BY woodhaven on | July 18, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Anyway he would have been in the sidelined even if he was fit. English bowling attack is too strong

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 18, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Onions would only have played if there'd been an injury to the three first picks. All the same, it is not good news for someone who has worked extremely hard to get back in, or near, the side - cruel luck indeed. BTW, I was reading about the last time that England was the premier Test side - pre-ranking days of course - in the 1950s, prior to the Ashes series in '58-'59, & it struck me that Bresnan is our modern Trevor Bailey, although Bres is a more free-scoring bat than the Boil ever was. But both TB & TB (!) were/are the engine-room of the side, less eye-catching than some others but - by heavens - as reliable as the rock of Gibraltar. Carrying on the parallels, I'd have Onions down as Peter Loader, a fine bowler who seldom got a look in because of Trueman, Statham, Bailey, Bedser - and Tyson for a short while.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | July 18, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    May the best of the ( South African ) teams win !!

  • POSTED BY CSmith1985 on | July 18, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Is everyone forgetting he was the best bowler in the last West Indies test? Its a real shame I think he would have had a good chance of selection and SA have been quoted saying they don't like to face him.

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | July 18, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @RandyOz, I bet Australia would love to have a bowler the quality of onions in their side at the moment. I seem to have read in the article he took a 10for last time he played against your lot? and that was back in '09 when Punter still had some quality of eyesight left. As for journeyman, he's only played for one county.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Onions no Onions.....or Spring Onions....SA would dominate the series....English have no answer to Dale Steyn, Morkel and Philander....on the batting front..Kallis and Amla can bat for days...the only thing English can do is pray that they don't suffer a whitewash

  • POSTED BY _myk on | July 18, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    @RandyOZ

    The same Amla he got out twice on tour in 2009 (for scores of 14 and 19)? Or the other wickets he took in the series, including Smith (x2) and Kallis?

    It's a real shame Onions and Tremlett have had injuries, but then it's allowed players like Broad, Finn and Bresnan to show how good they are.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 18, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    merchant de lange & now bresnan. NO injuries, no rain, no bad weather.

  • POSTED BY CamS71 on | July 18, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Do you mean the county journeyman who would walk into any other Test side bar SA. That includes yours btw.

  • POSTED BY Red37 on | July 18, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    @Randyoz. He played havoc with your blokes in '09 when you were supposedly a "powerhouse" still. Some county journeyman methinks. Mind you your line-up was pretty thin even during the "great days". The problem was that other teams were so bad that they actually made yours look good.

  • POSTED BY ukcip on | July 18, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    If Onions hadn't had such a nasty injury, he'd have been leading the line by now. Stats don't back this up, but on the SA tour, he was the most dangerous bowler by far. He constantly had the South Africans tied up in knots on unhelpful pitches until he was inexplicably dropped for the last test. I can't see why he wouldn't get in ahead of Finn (if he were fit), he outbowled him (and Bresnan) comfortably against the West Indies - the only reason I could see him not getting ahead would be that he's less of a batsmen than them. (And I think RandyOz needs to look up the definition of journeyman, because Onions definitely isn't that).

  • POSTED BY PrafulSohal on | July 18, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    As such it was highly unlikely that he would have been selected.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | July 18, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Unlucky for Onions, a bowler that would walk into any side in the world, but can't get into the England one, due to the other bowlers being the best in the world. Hope he recovers soon.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 18, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    No injury for any player is ever good and, with Onions having suffered such a serious back injury in the past, that goes double for him. That said, I don't think that this injury will have cost him a Test spot because, as well as he's doing currently, I'd have to think that he was the least likely of the three options to get that third seamer spot.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 18, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Don't think Onions would get a go anyway. I like Bresnan - but I think Finn should play. Fight fire with fire.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | July 18, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    South Africa would be devastated right now. Amla wouldve loved the chance to send this county journeyman through point .

  • POSTED BY kitten on | July 18, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Even if Onions was fit, he would have difficulty going past Finn and Bresnan to get the final spot in the team. In all probability, it will go to Bresnan, as besides his bowling, his batting is better than Finn's(even though England don't really need any more batting strength!!), but the most important factor I reckon, will be that England have always won with Bresnan in the side (he is their lucky mascot), and that might be the factor that sways the decision in his favour.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 18, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    I think Onions is a great bloke and a useful bowler. However, he was really only there in case two of England's other four seamers were unfit. Let's hope Tim Bresnan's elbow is OK and Stuart Broad doesn't trip over any more boundary ropes! Although the way the weather is shaping up, by the time they play Onions will be fit again.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | July 18, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    A pity for Onions, always thought he was quite underrated. Unusually for a 'world class' England bowler he actually has an average under 30 too. Still, probably wouldn't have made the starting 11 for this test though, more likely carrying the biltong and Guiness as 12th man.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    I don't think onion will get selected ahead of Tim Bresnon

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | July 18, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    hes in the pool no chance he would play. finns the 1 fighting for the last spot but i expect him to be unlucky.

  • POSTED BY o-bomb on | July 18, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I think Onions is only in the squad as cover for Anderson anyway, so this isn't a huge blow to the England team. I hope he recovers soon.

  • POSTED BY NAZMO-CRICKFANN on | July 18, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    well in this case to make south africa cry i would use eschallotte

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | July 18, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Doubt he would have played anyway. Christ he has gone from the un-injurable to wilting whenever he is close to a test match. Finn for the win.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Well its a shame for Onions but to be honest I'm not sure he would have been playing anyway. I'm expecting Bresnan to play.

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  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Well its a shame for Onions but to be honest I'm not sure he would have been playing anyway. I'm expecting Bresnan to play.

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | July 18, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Doubt he would have played anyway. Christ he has gone from the un-injurable to wilting whenever he is close to a test match. Finn for the win.

  • POSTED BY NAZMO-CRICKFANN on | July 18, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    well in this case to make south africa cry i would use eschallotte

  • POSTED BY o-bomb on | July 18, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I think Onions is only in the squad as cover for Anderson anyway, so this isn't a huge blow to the England team. I hope he recovers soon.

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | July 18, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    hes in the pool no chance he would play. finns the 1 fighting for the last spot but i expect him to be unlucky.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    I don't think onion will get selected ahead of Tim Bresnon

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | July 18, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    A pity for Onions, always thought he was quite underrated. Unusually for a 'world class' England bowler he actually has an average under 30 too. Still, probably wouldn't have made the starting 11 for this test though, more likely carrying the biltong and Guiness as 12th man.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 18, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    I think Onions is a great bloke and a useful bowler. However, he was really only there in case two of England's other four seamers were unfit. Let's hope Tim Bresnan's elbow is OK and Stuart Broad doesn't trip over any more boundary ropes! Although the way the weather is shaping up, by the time they play Onions will be fit again.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | July 18, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Even if Onions was fit, he would have difficulty going past Finn and Bresnan to get the final spot in the team. In all probability, it will go to Bresnan, as besides his bowling, his batting is better than Finn's(even though England don't really need any more batting strength!!), but the most important factor I reckon, will be that England have always won with Bresnan in the side (he is their lucky mascot), and that might be the factor that sways the decision in his favour.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | July 18, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    South Africa would be devastated right now. Amla wouldve loved the chance to send this county journeyman through point .