England in India 2012-13 November 3, 2012

Meaker called up to England squad

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Stuart Meaker has been drafted into the England squad as cover for the injured Steven Finn. Meaker, the 23-year-old Surrey fast bowler, will fly to India on Saturday and is expected to play in the final warm-up game before the first Test, subject to obtaining a visa.

Finn suffered a thigh strain in the opening overs of the first game of the tour against India A. While England are yet to announce the results of the subsequent scans, the call-up of Meaker suggests Finn is most unlikely to be fit for the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15. Graham Onions replaced Finn in the side for the second warm-up game, against Mumbai A, but England have now concluded they require reinforcement.

It is understood England are keen to rest Stuart Broad for the final warm-up game, against Haryana at Ahmadabad from November 8, before the Test. Broad also missed the first warm-up game, which raises questions about his match fitness.

While Meaker, whose international experience is limited to just two ODIs, does not possess the height of Finn, he does bowl at a similar pace. He remains the fastest bowler recorded at England's National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough.

Meaker's South African background - he was born in Pietermaritzburg - will revive claims that England are reliant on imported talent, but his family moved to England when he was just 12 and he has progressed through the Surrey system. He was Surrey's leading wicket-taker in the 2012 Championship season - he claimed 44 wickets at 22.56 apiece in 10 games with a strike-rate of a wicket every 38.7 deliveries - and has the ability to swing the new and old ball both ways.

Quite how match fit he is at present remains to be seen. He has been resting since the end of the English domestic season over a month ago and only returned to fitness training at Lord's in the last few days.

Whatever happens to Finn, Meaker will remain in India until meeting up with other members of the England Performance Programme squad who leave the UK on November 19.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketMaan on November 6, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Looks a strong lad...what about that kid who rocked during the U-19 world cup, i heard he was in line. Ah, BTW who next must be the Ireland born Rankin? At least you guys dont pick players from Miami beach (ref. to RP on that Eng tour).

  • NickeyT on November 5, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Why not get Tremlett back ? He got 50 wickets in 11 matchs @ 26.75 when he was picked by England, and then he's been forgotten about... I agree Roland-Jones is an interesting prospect ! He's got amazing stats. It would be nice to see someone new... Really promosing like this... And.... then there's Chris Woakes. England's best player but never selected for Tests matches and given just a few chances in ODI's & T20. He really deserve more than that ! Tremlett, Roland Jones, Woakes...

  • Meety on November 5, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    @OzzyHammond on (November 04 2012, 10:00 AM GMT) - thanks for clarifying that it has been almost 150 years since Oz have played more than one overseas born player in the Test team.Do you would think there were some obvious demographical reasons for that somewhat rare occurance????

  • RandyOZ on November 5, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    Good to see another South African making the quota.

  • Sanawana on November 4, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    While I think he may not play against India given so many options with England already, I do think a surprise package may unsettle India especially if the guy can clock in 90s. I think Monte shoul find a place in England attack because he contributes to the variety in attack.

  • brusselslion on November 4, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Personally, and speaking as a Surrey supporter, I wouldn't have picked Meaker. No doubt that he's quick but he doesn't get many balls to rear up off a length (unlike Finn) and this is what is most likely to cause the Indian batsmen problems. Saw Toby Roland Jones at the Oval last year and he was impressive with both bat and ball. Alternatively, the selectors could really have been adventurous and picked Reece Topley to give him experience of the England set-up.

  • dariuscorny on November 4, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @KiwiRocker haha you must be the most recent pass out from "THE COMEDIANS COLLEGE".keep going with ur good work.....cheers

  • Hammond on November 4, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    @Meety- actually because you threw it out there- in the first test at Melbourne in 1877 over half the Australian side was born overseas.

  • Hammond on November 4, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    @jonesy2- yeah, also the same Finn who ripped through Australia in the Nat West Series earlier this year (you know the one- the series that Australia forgot)- took the most wickets in the series in the process. Mind you he was only bowling at Australians ;) so no biggy.

  • Akshita29 on November 4, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @Hammond spot on. Totally agree with you.......................

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