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

Steven Finn likely to miss first Test


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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  • dummy4fb on November 14, 2012, 7:50 GMT


    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.

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