England in India 2012-13 November 27, 2012

Finn takes four to boost Test chances


Steven Finn has boosted his chances of playing in the third Test against India with an impressive display on the first day of the England Performance Programme's game against the D Y Patil Academy XI in Navi Mumbai.

Finn, who missed the first two Tests after sustaining a thigh strain during the opening warm-up match of the tour, claimed 4 for 50*, including a wicket in his first over, and worked up a considerable pace. If Finn suffers no reaction to his workload, he has an excellent chance of forcing his way into the England team for Kolkata in place of an out of sorts Stuart Broad, who has not claimed a wicket in the first two Tests.

Finn bowled four spells of four overs each and left the field on several occasions, but appeared untroubled by the exertion. As well as the wickets, he struck one batsman a painful blow on the hand and generated bounce from a sleepy surface that other bowlers struggled to find.

Earlier in the day England's bowling coach, David Saker, had hinted that a fully fit Finn would prove hard to ignore for the England selectors. "If he gets through unscathed and bowls well, his name will definitely be talked about for selection," Saker said. "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."

In contrast, Saker was less effusive about Broad. "There's a little bit of an issue, there's no doubt about it," he said. "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."

Four other members of England's Test squad - Graham Onions, Joe Root, Stuart Meaker and Eoin Morgan - are also playing in the three-day match. Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire left-arm spinner, claimed 4 for 61 with Meaker (1-34) beating the bat often without much luck. Legspinner Scott Borthwick took the other wicket.

Onions finished wicketless, but conceded only 11 runs from his 14 overs which included six maidens. Later Root compiled an unbeaten 40 off 57 balls as the EPP team began their reply while Varun Chopra had been dismissed.

November 27, 2.15pm: *Steven Finn's bowling figures were corrected

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on November 30, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Meety on (November 30 2012, 08:20 AM GMT) I probably wouldn't bring Bell right back in but if he was to come back in , for me it would either be for Patel or Trott before Nick. Patel - because I think Jonny is a better batsman and he has done little with the ball , Trott , because he looks in very bad touch but then you're just bringing another bad touch player in for another and if Bell is being picked on credit from past form then Trott by the same token must have more credit in the bank. If you drop Compton , you are also messing up the opening partnership and I think even in the 1st test they averaged around 70. I wonder if they might think about Root afterhis ton vs mediocre opposition

  • John on November 30, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    The Performance Squad game doesn't mean much (or Borthwick is a much better bowler than his career up to now would indicate!). I can only see Meaker playing if both Finn and Broad are unfit- but admittedly that's not a huge stretch. Root's hundred, likewise, came against weak bowling and doesn't put him in the frame over Compton. After his first test duck, Compton's done pretty well, taking part in a century and two 50+ (one unbroken) first-wicket partnerships. His determination in unfamiliar conditions has been good to see. Bell just hasn't mastered subcontinental wickets; he's a fluid strokeplayer, not a grinder like Cook or a hitter like Pietersen, and he's never got his timing right for the slow pace of these wickets. I don't rate Morgan as a test player, now or ever, but maybe Bairstow should be given another chance. At the very least he really lifts the fielding. Patel got two poor decisions in the first test and a useful 20+ in the second, so he keeps his place.

  • Andrew on November 30, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @ Trickstar on (November 28 2012, 23:37 PM GMT) - facts are facts - he has NOT performed over a fairly long period of time away from home. His prime success in the period you talk about have been at home against "great" touring teams like SL & WIndies!!!! I will be happy for him to tour Oz & play in the Ashes. @ jg2704 - no I noticed a few comments on a couple of articles that where people either wanted Trott or Compton dropped for Bell. Which I think is pretty close to insane. I agree that IF Bell has to be picked it is Bairstow or Patel, but I think both of those players have a good score around the corner which I don't see in Bell. @riprock on (November 29 2012, 14:49 PM GMT) -When I said its not so much about the runs scored, I was meaning Compton has looked much more assured, & likely to get a score than Bell. Fact is the runs he & Cook got to secure the win was roughly what England got dismissed for in the UAE - so I am NOT discounting. BTW - I don't want Patel dropped!

  • Mark on November 30, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    End of discussion. Meaker is back with the Performance Squad. Finn almost certainly in for Broad.

  • Ritvik on November 29, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @samuelH.. A huge victory is far from what Eng would've expected.and the mood in the camp must be more of optimism than nerves.They don't have many headaches in batting selections as such..and can just afford to go easy in atleast rotating their opening prospects.The emphasis on a debutant's scores have expectedly been overshadowed by the result and unlikely margin of victory.I didn't say Compton should be kicked out mercilessly to be never given a chance.Perhaps.. an Indian win next test and a Compton failure..or just the latter could give the suggestion more validity.

    @meety. you're contradicting yourself mate.You talk about how its not just about the runs yet mention (with brackets) NC's position in the aggregates list.That after evaluating his cameo which'll give him an extra tally in the no. of inn played? Also,you're indirectly just calling for Morgan's inclusion if you're saying Bell sucks and Patel isn't needed.Bell and Morgan ahead of JB and Patel is still a good possibility.

  • Mark on November 29, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @Heart_of_oak That is exactly why I would have had Tim Bresnan in my side. He is an old-ball, reverse-swing specialist who showed good form in the warm-up matches and was a far more likely wicket-taker in Indian conditions than Jimmy Anderson (1 wicket so far in the two matches). I was bitterly disappointed by his lacklustre performance in the Test and would like to know what had happened to him.

  • Mark on November 29, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Finn wicketless in 7 overs at close to full pace today. Meaker or Finn for Kolkata? Interesating poser.

  • Mark on November 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    The margin of victory was an innings and 193 runs so, with England 280 ahead overnight, they apparently declared overnight and bowled the Academy out for 87.

  • Mark on November 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @Heart_of_Oak, no, but I can tell you that Scott Borthwick took 6-38 in the win and Meaker 3-8. And Stuart Meaker is saying that he was very very close to being picked ahead of Broad at Mumbai.

  • Ian on November 29, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    I found it on the ecb site. Not a full score card but some stats. Yes, Meaker's 3 for 8 would have been pretty devastating. This backs up what I say about providing something different. Meaker isn't like Broad, Bresnan, Jimmy or Finn. He reminds me a bit fo Malcolm Marhsall. Extreme pace from a guy who isn't exceptionally tall. What's also pleasing is he only gave away 8 runs. To me that suggests he's pretty accurate or at least that he was in this game. As to the test team, would it be such a risk to pick both Meaker and Finn ? If we had Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, and one of Bell/Root/Morgan, then Prior that's 6 batsmen. We could then have a bowling attack of Swann, Finn, Jimmy, Meaker and Monty. Swann is no mean bat but this does give us a fairly long tail so the top 5 must score. However, if they don't then this attack is going to make life hard for the opposition. If Finn breaks down, as I think people fear, then we've still got Meaker and Jimmy for the fast bowling.

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