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November 14, 2012
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.
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