India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad November 13, 2012

Steven Finn likely to miss first Test

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Steven Finn is unlikely to play in the first Test against India having missed practice on Tuesday. The England fast bowler was forced off the pitch after four overs of the first warm-up game of the tour against India A and was subsequently diagnosed with a thigh strain. Stuart Broad also missed the third warm-up game with a bruised heel.

While Finn and Broad bowled with impressive pace at practice on Sunday, it seems the England management were unwilling to 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.

Broad, however, bowled several spells at full pace in practice on Tuesday and appears certain to play. While it is possible that England are attempting to steal a march on India and are simply keeping Finn under wraps - Graeme Swann is the latest spinner to claim he has a mystery delivery - that would be unlike them.

"The one thing you would say is, if there was a realistic chance of Finn playing, then he probably would have had a long bowl today," England wicketkeeper Matt Prior said after practise.

Finn's absence is likely to mean a recall for Tim Bresnan. Bresnan bowled increasingly well in the final warm-up game and, with his ability to reverse swing the ball and bat at No.8, England are set to prefer him to the spin option of Monty Panesar.

It could mean there is no place for Panesar. Samit Patel's good form with the bat and his ability to fill the role of a defensive second spinner will see him come into the side at No.6 as England, with a mind to the balance of the side, ensure they bat deep. Panesar's modest batting continues to count against him.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • on November 14, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    @india_sports_fan

    Bresnan took 4-96 against India A and scored 33*.

    I think that is a pretty good result against second team India, and surely more relevant than some ODI's a year ago.

    BTW, do you remember how Brezzer did in the last test series against India?

  • india_sports_fan on November 14, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    if finn misses the 1st match than it will be nightmare for other english bowlers because he is the only bowler who has the pace of getting wicket of sehwag in india.He also has the experiance of playing last year in odi's where he was very successful and swann bresnan failed miserably vs second india team.

  • zenboomerang on November 14, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @George Dobell :- "Graeme Swann is the latest spinner to claim he has a mystery delivery"...

    Think you missed the gee-up that Swann likes to throw out there before a series... If he had such a delivery he wouldn't pre-advertised it... Nathan Lyon produced such a ball yesterday, only once in his 50 overs but claimed a wicket with it - even the commentators couldn't describe it properly (half a doosra & something else without a bent arm), now thats a mystery ball !!!

  • zenboomerang on November 14, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    Sad news about Finn, would have liked to see him in the 1st Test... No team should put even one bowler into a match while recovering from an injury (or carrying), let alone 2 - hope Broad is fully fit as I imagine that there will be a lot of bowling to be done in this series...

  • ghost_of_len_hutton on November 14, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    jb633 - I'm afraid I totally disagree lad. In my day, quickies like Fiery Fred Trueman or Alec Bedser would bowl 1000 overs in an English season without suffering more than a few aches and pains. The problem is too little bowling, not too much. Having only four overs a match in T20 games softens up young bowlers - Pat Cummins is an obvious example. Match fitness is key.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 13, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip: I LOVE T20s and as far as my memory goes, it was Yuvi who SMACKED Broad for 6 sixes in Durban back in 2007. So according to common sense and logic, it should be Broad who should have the ambulance on stand by and not Yuvi. I expect Yuvi to have a good all round test series against England.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 13, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    A body BLOW for England here. Finn is the ONLY 'all conditions' bowler England have. The rest are canon fodder in India. Of course Swann and Panesar will take wickets in India. So my respect to Finn, Swann and Panesar. The rest, I am not so sure.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on November 13, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    @gnanzcupid (November 13 2012, 12:05 PM GMT) Broad will be licking his lip when he see Yuvraj walking out to bat. He will be thinking "Here come another Hat Trick". Yuvraj will be thinking, "where is my mobile phone - I need ambulance to be ready"....

  • mikey76 on November 13, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Lets hope Broad bowls with intent in this match and not medium fast like he did against SA. We need to unsettle the Indian top order and stop them planting their front foot down the pitch. I get the feeling Finn will be missed.

  • AlfAlpha on November 13, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Oh no - England are going in with three medium pacers and a part-time spin bowler to help out Swann who has probably got his mind on other things. It should be an entertaining massacre.

  • on November 14, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    @india_sports_fan

    Bresnan took 4-96 against India A and scored 33*.

    I think that is a pretty good result against second team India, and surely more relevant than some ODI's a year ago.

    BTW, do you remember how Brezzer did in the last test series against India?

  • india_sports_fan on November 14, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    if finn misses the 1st match than it will be nightmare for other english bowlers because he is the only bowler who has the pace of getting wicket of sehwag in india.He also has the experiance of playing last year in odi's where he was very successful and swann bresnan failed miserably vs second india team.

  • zenboomerang on November 14, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @George Dobell :- "Graeme Swann is the latest spinner to claim he has a mystery delivery"...

    Think you missed the gee-up that Swann likes to throw out there before a series... If he had such a delivery he wouldn't pre-advertised it... Nathan Lyon produced such a ball yesterday, only once in his 50 overs but claimed a wicket with it - even the commentators couldn't describe it properly (half a doosra & something else without a bent arm), now thats a mystery ball !!!

  • zenboomerang on November 14, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    Sad news about Finn, would have liked to see him in the 1st Test... No team should put even one bowler into a match while recovering from an injury (or carrying), let alone 2 - hope Broad is fully fit as I imagine that there will be a lot of bowling to be done in this series...

  • ghost_of_len_hutton on November 14, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    jb633 - I'm afraid I totally disagree lad. In my day, quickies like Fiery Fred Trueman or Alec Bedser would bowl 1000 overs in an English season without suffering more than a few aches and pains. The problem is too little bowling, not too much. Having only four overs a match in T20 games softens up young bowlers - Pat Cummins is an obvious example. Match fitness is key.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 13, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip: I LOVE T20s and as far as my memory goes, it was Yuvi who SMACKED Broad for 6 sixes in Durban back in 2007. So according to common sense and logic, it should be Broad who should have the ambulance on stand by and not Yuvi. I expect Yuvi to have a good all round test series against England.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 13, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    A body BLOW for England here. Finn is the ONLY 'all conditions' bowler England have. The rest are canon fodder in India. Of course Swann and Panesar will take wickets in India. So my respect to Finn, Swann and Panesar. The rest, I am not so sure.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on November 13, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    @gnanzcupid (November 13 2012, 12:05 PM GMT) Broad will be licking his lip when he see Yuvraj walking out to bat. He will be thinking "Here come another Hat Trick". Yuvraj will be thinking, "where is my mobile phone - I need ambulance to be ready"....

  • mikey76 on November 13, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Lets hope Broad bowls with intent in this match and not medium fast like he did against SA. We need to unsettle the Indian top order and stop them planting their front foot down the pitch. I get the feeling Finn will be missed.

  • AlfAlpha on November 13, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Oh no - England are going in with three medium pacers and a part-time spin bowler to help out Swann who has probably got his mind on other things. It should be an entertaining massacre.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 13, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    This could be a big blow to England though not as big a blow like losing Zaheer in English conditions. Losing Graeme Swann in Indian conditions comes close to losing Zaheer in England.

  • on November 13, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Finn not playing is good news for India. I dont think Patels spin will cause much trouble to Indians but this would mean that more pressure on Swann.

  • sensible-indian-fan on November 13, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    What I really like about this England side is their candid approach towards everything. When they don't play well against spin, they admit it instead of making idiotic statements. Matt Prior's statement about Finn says a lot about their approach.

  • jb633 on November 13, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Big loss for us this one. I think Finn will prove to be our best bowler in years to come and the extra pace is always valuable against sub c sides. Yet another young fast bowler in world cricket breaking down. There is simply too much cricket being played at the moment and the game is worst for it. We need to see the quickest men steaming in, fresh after rest and raring to go. This means we are going to be subjected to trundlers Broad and Bressy again and we all saw how effective they are when the ball doesn't swing.

  • Nampally on November 13, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    I never thought Finn would be Match fit for at least 4 to 6 weeks after his first injury. England tried to play down his injury by stating he is fit to play whilst knowing all the time that it is risking his career. Anyway England has at least 4 seamers who can take Finn's spot. So it is always wiser to play safe. Also the conditions in India are less likely to help the pace bowlers either off the pitch or in the air with swerve/seam. India's weakness against the pace bowling is less likely on the Indian pitches. Ahmadabad wkt. is likely to favour spinners more. India needs to fight the top 4 England batsmen + Patel in the middle order. India also need Sehwag & Gambhir to put up their usual opening stand averaging around 53 runs on the Indian pitches. A good start will help youngsters like Kohli & Pujara play their usual game. These 2 youngsters are being over looked by England. But I expect them to lead the Indian batting averages in this series whether Sehwag & Sachin click or not.

  • shillingsworth on November 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    @Barry Glynn - This is the first time Finn has been unavailable for a test due to injury. Broad, Anderson and Bresnan may have missed the odd match in recent years but that hardly makes them injury prone.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 13, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    The side is starting to pick itself. Broad is v-c so presumably plays if fit, Bresnan has the overs under his belt so should start ( also has taken wikts), and Patel has played in all games and seems to have been pencilled in. Presumably Monty will get a look in in Mumbai and Kolkatha where it is more likely to turn.And the rest of the side slots in quite predictably. It will be of paramount importance not to lose this game.

  • on November 13, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Will be an interesting series this.. India would look to improve their Test Rankings and England to regain their No. 1 Spot... But england have to fight really hard to beat Indians in their Backyard.!

  • gnanzcupid on November 13, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    @jmcilhinney the Quality of the English team does'nt warrant any spinner with Mystery ball my dear. Ashwin will be too hot to handle for this english team. Even second line spinner like Harbhajan is hot for this English team to handle.

  • gnanzcupid on November 13, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Yuvi will be licking his lips for Broad's bowling. we may have another 6 sixers in an over by yuvi or any other indian batsmen.Poms,we are coming. Try to prepare to give us an competition atleast

  • gnanzcupid on November 13, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Cook will bowl the Mystery ball against Indians.I think all the English team members have that. Mystery ball means after the english bowl with the ball the ball will disappear out of the stadium and where the ball goes will remain a mystery

  • gnanzcupid on November 13, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Its better that Finn rests than to be torn apart by the Indian batters.Whole english team will have butterflies in the tummies on coming to India. Whitewashing the English team will be sweeter.

  • Nutcutlet on November 13, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    This is the news that England/English supporters didn't need! The silver lining is that Finn is being every chance to recover & therefore could be available later in the piece. And as he hasn't been sent home, this seems to be a reasonable deduction. Bresnan & Patel fully deserve their places & I have a feeling that Samit will have an impact esp. with the bat (it's in the wrists, don't you know!) & we all know that Bresnan is a really tough Yorkie pro who'll make his full contribution. So, that's the XI before it's announced: there can't be too much discussion about it between now & Thursday morning. More welcome news is that Swann is back & in good humour; this is evident from his chirruping about his mystery ball (does he talk about it with a straight face? George didn't tell us) -- I only worry about GS when he goes quiet! All in all, England is a ready as it's possible to be. Now, let's hope the whole tenor of the match doesn't depend on the toss. That would be a shame.

  • jmcilhinney on November 13, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @itsthewayuplay on (November 13 2012, 09:14 AM GMT), there's no way that Meaker will get a game before Bresnan and Onions. he was the last man added to the squad for a reason.

  • jmcilhinney on November 13, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    @முத்து நாயகம் பரிபூரணம் on (November 13 2012, 08:35 AM GMT), no Swann doesn't have a new mystery ball, but then neither does Ashwin, which is the point.

  • pratit on November 13, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Huge setback for England. Finn would surely cause discomfort to the Indian batsmen with his extra pace and bounce. The likes of Anderson, Broad etc aren't likely to as much of a challenge as wickets here won't seam or swing much

  • bumsonseats on November 13, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    i would think with swann would say it as a laugh, just as a dig at the so called mystery bowl thats been talked about. he has said that hes ried to bowl a dosra typeball but could not master it. he will have got back to the changing room laughing at the column inches that may bring

  • Selassie-I on November 13, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Not worth riskign him, we have enough seam bowlers in the team. It will help if we can rotate too during the series to keep the bowlers fresh.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on November 13, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (November 13 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) Rubbish. With Zaheer & Harbahjan breaking down at Lords last year - then by your definition Zaheer and Harbahjan are fair weather bowler. Funny, I thought these were India hero.

  • on November 13, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Lmaotsetung Monty is a poor professional cricketer, the worst since to play for England since dear old Devon Malcolm. Monty cant bat, not matter how much he tries.Couple of short balls and he is out. He ended up batting at ekeven in graade cricket when he was out there a while ago. His fielding is not even up to decent club standard. Its a shame because he can bowl albeit still a bit one dimensional. Why are our quick bowlerss so injury prone? None of them have to bowl more than 3/400 overs max a year. Sign of the times I suppose, generically kids are just not as robust these days from an early age due to modern life.

  • ladycricfan on November 13, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    No doubt Finn's injury will be a setback for England. He not only has to recover from injury he has to get rid of his habit of knocking the stumps with his knee. It looks so wrong to be called a dead ball. It should be a no- ball. It will prevent all sorts of complicated scenarios.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 13, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    It's a 4-match series...no need to rush anyone. Bresnan, Onions, and even Meaker are decent replacement. Eng doing the sensible thing here not risking having 2 pacemen down in the first test. As far as Monty is concerned, it's his fielding and NOT his batting that counts against him.

  • bluefunk on November 13, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    sehwag would probably appreciate the extra pace on the ball if finn was playing. would like to see meaker get a look in though, sounds like he can work up a nice head of steam.

  • itsthewayuplay on November 13, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    This could be a real issue for England because based on his past experience in India Finn is going to be the main wicket-taking bowler for England. Haven't seen much of Meaker but I hear he's quick and may be worth a punt - pace even on Indian pitches will give Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj something to think about.

  • on November 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Maybe Finn has a mysetry ball to

  • on November 13, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Now Swann has the mystery ball ??? Haven't we heard about these bollucks , Mr.Richard Halsal, Dobell ??????????

  • GRVJPR on November 13, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    This is what fair weather bowlers do. As soon as there is tough work required they don;t want to play.

  • Rogerunionjack on November 13, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    If Finn is still unfit, that would be a crucial blow for us. But it's sensible to ensure that he plays only when 100% fit, he's young and has a long career ahead. Maybe, that might just tilt the balance towards including Monty on a spin friendly surface. So if we stick to a 6-1-4 formation, our four bowlers should be Anderson, Broad, Swann & Monty. Patel & KP to lend spin support.

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  • Rogerunionjack on November 13, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    If Finn is still unfit, that would be a crucial blow for us. But it's sensible to ensure that he plays only when 100% fit, he's young and has a long career ahead. Maybe, that might just tilt the balance towards including Monty on a spin friendly surface. So if we stick to a 6-1-4 formation, our four bowlers should be Anderson, Broad, Swann & Monty. Patel & KP to lend spin support.

  • GRVJPR on November 13, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    This is what fair weather bowlers do. As soon as there is tough work required they don;t want to play.

  • on November 13, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Now Swann has the mystery ball ??? Haven't we heard about these bollucks , Mr.Richard Halsal, Dobell ??????????

  • on November 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Maybe Finn has a mysetry ball to

  • itsthewayuplay on November 13, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    This could be a real issue for England because based on his past experience in India Finn is going to be the main wicket-taking bowler for England. Haven't seen much of Meaker but I hear he's quick and may be worth a punt - pace even on Indian pitches will give Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj something to think about.

  • bluefunk on November 13, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    sehwag would probably appreciate the extra pace on the ball if finn was playing. would like to see meaker get a look in though, sounds like he can work up a nice head of steam.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 13, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    It's a 4-match series...no need to rush anyone. Bresnan, Onions, and even Meaker are decent replacement. Eng doing the sensible thing here not risking having 2 pacemen down in the first test. As far as Monty is concerned, it's his fielding and NOT his batting that counts against him.

  • ladycricfan on November 13, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    No doubt Finn's injury will be a setback for England. He not only has to recover from injury he has to get rid of his habit of knocking the stumps with his knee. It looks so wrong to be called a dead ball. It should be a no- ball. It will prevent all sorts of complicated scenarios.

  • on November 13, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Lmaotsetung Monty is a poor professional cricketer, the worst since to play for England since dear old Devon Malcolm. Monty cant bat, not matter how much he tries.Couple of short balls and he is out. He ended up batting at ekeven in graade cricket when he was out there a while ago. His fielding is not even up to decent club standard. Its a shame because he can bowl albeit still a bit one dimensional. Why are our quick bowlerss so injury prone? None of them have to bowl more than 3/400 overs max a year. Sign of the times I suppose, generically kids are just not as robust these days from an early age due to modern life.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on November 13, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (November 13 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) Rubbish. With Zaheer & Harbahjan breaking down at Lords last year - then by your definition Zaheer and Harbahjan are fair weather bowler. Funny, I thought these were India hero.