India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad

Steven Finn out of first Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 14, 2012

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Steven Finn bowls in the nets, Haryana v England XI, Ahmedabad, 4th day, November 11, 2012
Steven Finn won't have any warm-up games to recover before the second Test © Getty Images

Steven Finn has been ruled out of the first Test against India in Ahmedabad due to the thigh strain that limited his warm-up participation to four overs in the first match in Mumbai.

England captain Alastair Cook confirmed that Finn would not be considered for the opening match of the series as it would be a significant risk. England are still likely to field one fast bowler under an injury cloud with Stuart Broad set to play after recovering from the bruised heel that meant he has bowled just 10 warm-up overs on tour.

While Finn and Broad bowled with impressive pace at practice on Sunday, it was always unlikely that the England management would two risk two bowlers in the same Test. Finn barely participated in fielding practice and did not bowl a single delivery in the nets. While he is not thought to have suffered any injury setback, it seems the England management are keen not to risk his recovery; particularly in a Test that will be played in hot, arduous conditions.

The problem for Finn now is that there are no further matches on the tour outside of the Tests so he will have to regain form and fitness in the nets.

The most likely replacement for Finn appears to be Tim Bresnan who bowled well in the second innings of the final warm-up match against Haryana where he found useful reverse swing. Graham Onions, Stuart Meaker or a second frontline spinner in Monty Panesar are the other options and Cook is happy with the depth available.

"I wouldn't call them back-up bowlers, they're all vying for a place to play in this XI, to be lucky enough to play for England," Cook said. "They've all worked hard to get used to these conditions and as selectors we've got a tough decision to make."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by aracer on (November 15, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

@o-bomb - personally I'd be tempted to play Panesar and 3 pace bowlers, when 2 of those are Bresnan and Broad and Swann is batting at 9. Of course we might struggle with batting against spin, but I doubt Patel brings much more in the way of batting depth than Bresnan (remembering that the first choice team including Finn would presumably have also had Broad at 8, Swann at 9 - I'm effectively talking about subbing Bresnan for Patel in the batting line-up with Prior moving up one place).

Posted by crikkfan on (November 15, 2012, 0:52 GMT)

sachin_vvsfan - seriously? I am a fan of India and I want KP to PLAY and see how we do in favorable conditions and if we can beat Eng convincingly with a fit KP. Thats more satisfying.

Posted by Gizza on (November 14, 2012, 23:49 GMT)

There are three ways fast bowlers can be successful on the subcontinent. Sheer pace and bounce like the old West Indies, 2004 Aussies (Gillespie and Lee) and more recently some of the Saffa bowlers, a perfect line and length (just full of a good length instead of just short) like Glenn McGrath or reverse swing like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and occasionally Akhtar. Conventional swing NEVER gives you more than two wickets per innings. They are the bowler most disadvantaged when bowling on Indian pitches. Too many of England's bowlers are in the latter category though I thought Finn was an exception. But now he's gone too.

Posted by MMahmood1 on (November 14, 2012, 21:39 GMT)

It can be a new surprise tactic for Indian batsmen.He mght be fit and ready to go tomorrow :D. If I was england coach, I ould have done this because Finn is the best current english bowler. Keep him fit and hungry and raring to go just like a hungry lion. Just like SW variations and SJ tesra lolz.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 14, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

@Makkered on (November 14 2012, 11:53 AM GMT) A good job Broad was so ineffective when India toured last year.Otherwise your humour may be backfiring a tad

Posted by JG2704 on (November 14, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

@o-bomb on (November 14 2012, 11:57 AM GMT) I think you have to weigh it all up. If Broad was on a hot streak then maybe risk him but right now many (inc myself) question a fit Broad in the side , let alone an unfit Broad

@jmcilhinney on (November 14 2012, 13:27 PM GMT) To be fair to a-bomb - Broad was risked when not fully fit for the SL 1st test and I think he could be the bowling version of Bell where his place is cemented no matter what - and this coming from a fan of the guy

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 14, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

I want KP injured. No offense just that he makes it hard for us and i want to see how English cope with out KP in sub continent.

Posted by o-bomb on (November 14, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

@jmcilhinney - I was being facetious a bit yes. Sometimes it seems Broad is undroppable regardless of how well he's playing. I think it's likely the XI will be Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Patel, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Anderson. Had Broad not been fit though it'd have been interesting to see who of Onions and Meaker they'd have gone for (I'd assume Onions as he seems to be next in line). Personally I'd be tempted to play Panesar and just 2 pace bowlers, but that'd be a big gamble.

Posted by pzze on (November 14, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

England should think out of the box and tinker with their playing XI. Cook, Bell, Trott, KP, Morgan, Bairstow(wk), S.Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson! Drop Prior and make it a batting heavy eleven..even if his experience, guile and audacity behind the stumps may be missed. 18 member squad? Send back Meaker, Root and Compton and save some on expenditure. Haha. With Finny injured, Panesar, Onions and Prior would be subs. Think out of the box and create your best opportunities of winning based on conditions and opposition!

Posted by Nampally on (November 14, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

It is immaterial for India Who the seamers for England are, provided Gambhir & Sehwag are determined to put up at least their average opening stand in India of 53 runs. That should be their first target. They have to play in a disciplined & responsible knocks & no fishing for the balls outside the off stump or any of their T-20's irresponsible hacks. A good opening stand in the very first test sets the trend for the series & gives the rest of the Indian batting the confidence needed. If these 2 openers get back to their form, which made them the best openers about 2 years back, then India will be in good shape. I personally think that Finn & Broad must take time off & rest rather than aggravate their injuries. I can understand their keenness to play.Pace bowlers will mean less on the Indian pitches than in English conditions. I expect England will go 3 seamers + 1 spinner & India will counter 2 seamers + 2 spinners. Both teams will have all rounders Patel & Yuvraj- as backup spinners.

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 14, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

@Hammond - not an Australian today? Methinks the smart money disagrees with you, bookies' odds have India more than twice as likely to win the series as 'England'.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

If England can last out for four days they deserve some credit. They are surely going down like the proverbial nine pins this time around. Save for Cook and K.P they do not have anyone who can even last at the crease beyond even a 50.@Hammond wish I could share your optimism but things look bleak for a side that has only thrived in home conditions.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 14, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Tough to leave out the fastest bowler in the world because he's injured. Finn will be back for test number 2.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 14, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

@o-bomb on (November 14 2012, 11:57 AM GMT), I'm not sure whether you were being facetious but I very much doubt that they'd play Broad if they weren't confident that he was fully fit. I'm guessing that they think that Finn is most likely fully fit too but they just made the decision that his injury was the more serious so, if they were going to play it safe, he would be the one to sit out. Knowing that he wasn't going to play early on meant that they could safely give Finn a day off and ensure that his injury did heal. Even though Meaker was the last man added to the squad, he is perhaps a more like-for-like replacement for Finn due to his pace. He doesn't have Finn's height though, so I doubt that he'll jump the queue. There doesn't seem to be a case for Onions over Bresnan so I'm sure that Bresnan will get the nod.

Posted by Tigg on (November 14, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Hopefully Broad will be rested too. I'd like to see a pace attack of Jimmy, Bresnan and Onions.

Posted by o-bomb on (November 14, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

Agree with JG2704 - Broad should only play if fully fit. We have 6 fast bowlers in India so we shouldn't risk anyone who isn't 100%. That said I think they'd go with Broad even if he was only half fit.

Posted by Makkered on (November 14, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Well he could have made some difference to England in taking wickets. Boon for India. On a humorous note Flower may be trying to save him from humiliation... lolz.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

This series is test of Viru,GG & SRT.Its long time they scored good score in Test cricket so this is good and right time to hit some big score againest ENG and prove everyone wrong. So go Team India and Rock:) All the best

Posted by Hammond on (November 14, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Won't need him. We've got this series covered. India better bat well if they want to fight for a draw.

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 14, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Going to be harder for India to score quick runs without Finn.

Posted by Min2_cric on (November 14, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@CricketMann James will target,broad will aim, tim will take care, patel and swann will handle, but who the hell will take wickets...well u need finn for dat...

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

This will surely favour India so come on guys

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 14, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

So James will target Viru and SRT, while Boardy will aim for GG and Yuvi. Tim will take care of Pujara and Kholi while the rest will be handled by Swann and Patel. Wow England are favs. Why need Finn i say!!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 14, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

Massive loss for England as he wouldve troubled the indian batsmen who dont like pace and bounce. India are now definetly odds on favourites.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 14, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Finn has been working up great rhythm and pace over the last few tests he has played, considering Indian batsmen still are struggling a bit against good pace bowling, it certainly is a huge loss for England!!

Posted by AjitDJ on (November 14, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

India should take a cue from England and stop playing half-fit Zaheer Khan over and over again.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 14, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

Oh well I guess that solves that one. I'd say they'll go Bres,Swann,Anderson and the last bowling spot will be between Broad,Onions and Meaker. Broad - if not fully fit - should not be risked as he is not bowling that well for the risk to be worthwhile. Onions is more experienced and would probably be my choice despite a lean tour so far but Meaker adds another dimension. There is still the possibility that they bring in Monty and I'm not against that but I'm not sure who would open alongside Jimmy - presuming they're going 6/1/4 and Bres is going to play.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 14, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Huge loss considering how bare the cupboard is.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 14, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

It's a tough break for Finn but it makes perfect sense that the selectors wouldn't pick two bowlers who have just recovered from an injury. Many will say that they should have picked Finn and rested Broad but anyone who has been observing English cricket for any length of time would know that that was never going to happen. It puts Finn in the slightly uncomfortable position of wanting his teammates to do well but at least one of them, most likely Bresnan, not to do well enough that the selectors won't want to replace him with Finn for the second Test. I guess Finn's getting an insight into what it's like to be Chris Tremlett. Unlike Tremlett though, Finn is still young so there will be plenty of opportunities regardless. I'm not sure what Tremlett has been up to lately but I imagine that his age and recent health issues have put an end to his England career.

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