England in India 2012-13

Three first-choice bowlers to miss final warm up

George Dobell

November 7, 2012

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann lets out a strong appeal, England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day, July 21, 2012
Graeme Swann is expected to return in time for the first Test © Getty Images

Graeme Swann, England's premier spinner, has flown home ahead of the final tour match against Haryana to spend time with his daughter who is unwell. He is expected to return before the first Test on November 15 in Ahmedabad.

"This is a personal matter and we would ask for everyone to give Graeme and his family privacy. We will not be making any further comment at this time," the ECB said in a statement.

The development means England will be without three of their first choice four-man attack in the final warm-up match ahead of the first Test against India with Stuart Broad and Steven Finn both suffering from injury.

Neither Broad or Finn are expected to play in the match against Haryana that starts on Thursday, meaning that, even if they recover in time for the Test that starts on November 15, they will have had very little preparation. Finn, who has a thigh strain, managed just four overs in the first warm-up match before he was forced from the pitch, while Broad, who has a bruised heel, missed the first game and bowled only 10 overs in the second. Finn's injury is thought to be the more serious and he must be considered most unlikely to play in the first Test.

England may also decide to rest James Anderson for the final warm-up match. Anderson, Broad and Finn were expected to play as part of a three-man seam attack in the Test series. With Anderson, who has played in both of the first two matches, the last man standing, his importance to the team has grown even further. England have called-up Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker as back-up and it is likely that he will come into the team to play Haryana. Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan are the other seamers with the squad.

"It's unlikely that Broad or Finn will be considered for this game," Graham Gooch, England's batting coach said. "They've both got injuries, and I don't think they're going to be ready for this game.

"With a bruised heel, it is something that can be very annoying and can take time to clear up. You've got to see how it goes each day, whether it gets better with the rest - keep checking it and see how it comes on. There's no other way of going about it really."

There was better news for England in the form of Kevin Pietersen. England were given a day-off on Wednesday, but Pietersen was among three players - Meaker and Samit Patel were the others - to take advantage of some extra batting practise. Certainly Gooch has been impressed by Pietersen's determination to prove his worth upon his return to the team.

With fences mended and differences made up, Pietersen's determination is renewed and his motivation high. "I know Kevin is focused," Gooch said. "I've seen the way he's been practising. A fit and strong Kevin Pietersen is a player to be reckoned with.

"He's looking forward. What's in the past is in the past. The only thing that counts is what's in the future - what he's going to do, how he's going to interact with the team, what sort of performances he's looking to give.

"I don't think it's an issue with Kevin. All the things have been done and dusted. From my conversations with him and from the way he is working, he's looking forward to this tour."

While it is anticipated that England's batsmen will face a trial by spin in India, Gooch is taking nothing for granted against India's seam attack. But as well as preparing batsmen for the cricketing challenges, the England management also prepared them for the noise and hostility they anticipate by playing crowd noise from loudspeakers and the team psychologist, Mark Bawden, occupying the net next to the batsmen and testing their ability to ignore distractions by clapping, appealing and shouting.

"We're not majoring on spin," Gooch said. "That's not the only type of bowling we're going to face. They've got two very good opening bowlers, two out of three from Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan or Ishant Sharma, and two spinners.

"Our build-up has gone to plan. People have got runs; there's been some wickets. Some of our players have learned a little bit in the couple of weeks we've been here.

"Nowadays, when you are trying to stimulate players with training, you come up with different ideas. There's a bit of noise there, a little idea to make it slightly different. You're looking to motivate, to push the players to get the very best out of them. You come up with different ideas. It's not a major thing, just something that's a little bit different.

"I think coming to India is one of the greatest challenges. It's a wonderful place to play cricket. The enthusiasm for the game - with the advent of the IPL - has created even more excitement. We know India are a top side in their own country. Not long ago they were rated number one, and you don't do that without putting on consistent performances. But we've come here to win the series; we've not come here to make up the numbers."

While only one new face - probably Nick Compton - is anticipated in the team for the first Test, there is likely to be an opportunity for another specialist batsmen in the second Test with Ian Bell expected to return to England to be present at the birth of his first child.

"It's going to be quite a difficult selection," Gooch said. "Our guys are pretty much all experienced Test players: Alastair Cook; Jonathan Trott; Kevin Pietersen; Ian Bell and Matt Prior. There will be maybe one new face.

"Nick Compton and Joe Root are two very good players, obviously at different levels of their career. One has been in the first-class game for quite a while. Compton has gained experience and found his mark. He has found the way he can score runs and been very successful over the last couple of years for Somerset.

"The other lad is obviously a young, exciting player. He has a good technique from what I've seen - this is the first time I've seen him close up - and he bowls a bit. So it's going to be quite a difficult selection.

"Then you've got Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Samit Patel all bidding for places. But I like competition for places. You want that. You want people to be putting their hand up and saying 'I want that place in the side'."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: George Dobell

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Oh how awful, hope the poor wee thing gets better soon.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 8, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

Pointless reading into anything after the first innings of a test really, but it's still nice to see decent runs beside certain names there in the England team! We'll see what happens when the Indians come out to bat shall we...

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (November 8, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

Hope she recovers well, the fact he left the tour suggests its not a simple cold or the sniffles....@GasPipe, Tremlett has been out for most if not all the last summer with a back injury, similar to Onions in 2011 so he wont be match fit until atleast aug next year assuming bowls for his county in 2013.

Posted by Hammond on (November 8, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4- seriously mate do you really think Swann gives a crap about a trophy with his little girl sick?

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 8, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Best wishes to daughter Swann. Family first, even if he misses some tests, it will give monty a chance.

Some really disgusting comments on here from a couple of people though, thinking Swann would fake serious illness to his own child for the sake of a series that's 8 months away. If that was the case, don't you think he would have just been 'rested' trather than creating a sick lie.

Posted by AlfAlpha on (November 8, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4, I'm lost for polite words to describe your cynical attitude towards Swann's family illness. As for Ponting and Warner 'thrashing' the England bowlers around - well, I guess this shows that at least you have a sense of humour.

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 8, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

Gooch is talking like an England coach here, not batting coach, is he fronting up to replace Flower? Why is he saying he likes competition for places? Concentrate on getting their batting ready for the Series, Gooch, too many captains perhaps?

Posted by maddy20 on (November 8, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

I hope she recovers quickly from her illness, so that Swann can focus on his game in the coming series. God bless!

Posted by Great_Chucker on (November 8, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

@GerrardLK We don't arrange stale foods to poison opposition team or pray for rain gods save our team in test ..SL fans have still to get over humilation by Kohli in last series in SL..

Posted by RISHI2016 on (November 8, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

all the best for lil swann....

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (November 8, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

The impending Ashes is already playing in the minds of the English-it is a nice little excuse to avoid this tour given his chronic injury and wasting their so called 'world class' spinner in a second level series-they will need him in the Ashes as the pace attack is a big struggle. The injury cloud over the only decent 'quick' capable of around 90 mph-Finn-does make it worse and ripe for a thrashing from Ponting , Warner and co. in the big showpiece event coming up next year after an appetizer and fun in the now (nearly) Champions Trophy. Aus will have a nice little recces of the conditions along with winning the cup and head into the Ashes with high morale and end the Pom's hold over the urn for a brief while(and will be that way for a long while...)As for this series don't discount a snorefest with all batsmen making hay on placid strips against toothless bowling in 80% empty stadia. Maybe a batting 'accident' from either side will decide the end result either way.

Posted by HumzaRafaqat on (November 8, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

yeah england will face a difficult time now. I think 3 - 0

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 8, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Our hearts & minds are with you Baby Swann, hope you recover ASAP. Get well soon, with your dad alongside you now, you should recover faster. Some things in life are far more important than cricket or a career.

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Interesting to see how this match unfolds. Based on the last match that Haryana was in, their batsmen don't play pace well! Not well at all! So I would expect England to plunder here. As I type this - Compton & Cook have an 80+ run partnership!

Posted by himohan007 on (November 8, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Hope that little Swany comes good. Swan did the good thing. Being her side always boosts her confidence.

Posted by Udendra on (November 8, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

which means the Indian batsmen will face a mediocre English bowling attack. god save the english!

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

@JG2704 on (November 07 2012, 19:54 PM GMT) - ditto.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

English Cricket is always Big Dramma on overseas tours...

Posted by anver777 on (November 8, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

Swann is their ace spinner, so he's a must for this test series...... hope to see him fresh & confident for the 1st test !!!!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 8, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

Speedy recovery Swann's dolly. Wish you recover soon enough to make your dad available for the entire test series. As a Indian fan, i do understand how bad a team will be mentally if they lose the main guy of the team in the bowling department. First of all, recovery adn then cricket. Good on ya Swanny.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

@GerrardLK I'll be looking for you after the series starts, hope you don't disappear. @cricketfanwrites You have bright future as a fiction writer. Hope Swanny is back soon and gives his best against Indian batters and makes this series competitive......

Posted by alwaysindia on (November 8, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

@ gerrard uk india wont need to score 200. England will get bowled out for 70 odd and india will declare after having a 100 run lead to finish the game in 2 days

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

It is payback time. When India toured England, many of the key players were injured. Strange it is happening to England now.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (November 8, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

Only a matter of time before the English attack got Meaker.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (November 8, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

All matches willl be drawn as pitches are flat.

Posted by Green_seamer on (November 8, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

Family comes first ....... There are still plenty of days left for the tour & being a spinner , he won't have to aclimatize to the conditions or anything . Here's hoping your daughter gets well soon so that you come back & bring some life back into the competition

Posted by jezzastyles on (November 8, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Family comues first - hope she returns to good health & makes a speedy recovery. Looking forward to an enthralling test series, much like the AUS vs. SA series starting tomorrow. I reckon ENG will bounce back from their poor showing against SA and win this series, but it'll be close.

Posted by jr1972 on (November 8, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

@cricketfanwrites. What on Earth has KP got to do with this story. I'll tell you, the square root of nothing. All the very best to the Swann family and a speedy recovery to the little one.

Posted by GasPipe on (November 7, 2012, 22:58 GMT)

Poor girl, hope she recovers well. I really want to see Graeme Swann bowl in India, so hopefully he can return. It will be interesting to see who takes the new ball; I'm thinking Anderson and Onions maybe, though Meaker could put his hand up.

Just curious, does anybody know the status of Chris Tremlett? He really impressed me against Australia in the Ashes, but I understand that he is recovering from a back injury of some sort? Anyone know where he is at at the moment?

Posted by samincolumbia on (November 7, 2012, 22:38 GMT)

@GerrardLK - You also did not saw SA thrashing your over rated team in your own backyard! But then it happened. You will have to change your moniker after the series are done and dusted with and England gets pummelled yet again!

Posted by 12thUmpire on (November 7, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

How 'bout team psychologists hiring retired Aussies to sledge during nets? Many hands will sure raise! :-)

Posted by lostpain on (November 7, 2012, 21:39 GMT)

May his little girl soon recover from her illness.

Posted by SLAMMER on (November 7, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

@GerrardLK the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it is not a long way away, we will certainly find out iif India will be unable to score more than 200 runs in any innings of the 4 test matches. I wish both England and India put up a good show!

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

Speedy recovery to Swann's daughter. Sincerely hope Swann can get to play.

Posted by MirFarrukh on (November 7, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

May Swann's daughter have speedy recovery and hope to see the best bowler with the great team. ALL THE BEST SWANN.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 7, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

I'm hoping it's a false alarm re Swann's dauighter or it is at least not as serious as it seems.

Posted by cricketfanwrites on (November 7, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

I wish his daughter a speedy recovery. However, my instincts tell me that he is not on board with KP being a member of the team again. With Cook at the helm now, I do not think his (Swann) coalition with Broad and Anderson will have as much influence on the ECB and the team as it did with Strauss was the captain.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 7, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

Lets hope alls well with his daughter. More important than a game of cricket. Who knows who will be taking the new ball for England now? Anderson and Onions probably. If Meaker takes a bunch of wickets he could leapfrog his way into the side. Nothing like raw pace.

Posted by hemanth.reddy on (November 7, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

the team should be cook,crompton,trot,kevin,morgan,bairstow,samit patel,prior,bresnan,broad,meaker.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 7, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

English battery of quicks can certainly get better of Indian batting. English spin department is also formidable although not as good as India's. The fact that some frontline indian batsmen found runs in Ranji cannot be depended much as fundamentally bowling strength of a state team cannot be better than even the current Indian bowling strength that is certainly not as strong.

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 7, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

G. Gooch as a captain lost 3-0 in 1992 when Kumble, Raju & Rajesh Chauhan spun web around the Englishmen. I m sure he will surely be yearning for a revenge this time, he is a very good batsman himself. This time it will be Sehwag who will terrorise the Englishmen with help from Sachin.

Posted by GerrardLK on (November 7, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Swann doesn't need warm up to bowl at this average Indian batting line up. He & the quickies will rattle through their batting order. And I can't see India scoring 200 in an innings in any of the 4 matches. If they do it should be a milestone for them.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

Hope that England go in with Cook*, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior+, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Onions (if Finn's not fit), Panesar. That's harsh on Jonny Bairstow, but I expect that the actual team will include Patel at 6 as the second spinner, then Prior, 3 seamers and Swann, so no place for Monty, which will be a crying shame.

Posted by cover_drive12345 on (November 7, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

hope she gets well soon and good luck to the Swann family.

Posted by xylo on (November 7, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

I hope Swann's daughter recovers swiftly and Swann returns to the thick of action soon.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Get well soon little Swann.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

It will give more chance for patel and monty panesar

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 7, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

Very unfortunate. I hope she gets well soon. These situations cannot be forecast or predicted; still, all these can be disruptions to a visiting team's preparations.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
George DobellClose
Tour Results
India v England at Dharamsala - Jan 27, 2013
England won by 7 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)
India v England at Mohali - Jan 23, 2013
India won by 5 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
India v England at Ranchi - Jan 19, 2013
India won by 7 wickets (with 131 balls remaining)
India v England at Kochi - Jan 15, 2013
India won by 127 runs
India v England at Rajkot - Jan 11, 2013
England won by 9 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days