India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad November 14, 2012

Steven Finn out of first Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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  • Chris on November 15, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    @o-bomb - personally I'd be tempted to play Panesar and 3 pace bowlers, when 2 of those are Bresnan and Broad and Swann is batting at 9. Of course we might struggle with batting against spin, but I doubt Patel brings much more in the way of batting depth than Bresnan (remembering that the first choice team including Finn would presumably have also had Broad at 8, Swann at 9 - I'm effectively talking about subbing Bresnan for Patel in the batting line-up with Prior moving up one place).

  • Anand on November 15, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    sachin_vvsfan - seriously? I am a fan of India and I want KP to PLAY and see how we do in favorable conditions and if we can beat Eng convincingly with a fit KP. Thats more satisfying.

  • Girik on November 14, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    There are three ways fast bowlers can be successful on the subcontinent. Sheer pace and bounce like the old West Indies, 2004 Aussies (Gillespie and Lee) and more recently some of the Saffa bowlers, a perfect line and length (just full of a good length instead of just short) like Glenn McGrath or reverse swing like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and occasionally Akhtar. Conventional swing NEVER gives you more than two wickets per innings. They are the bowler most disadvantaged when bowling on Indian pitches. Too many of England's bowlers are in the latter category though I thought Finn was an exception. But now he's gone too.

  • Malik on November 14, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    It can be a new surprise tactic for Indian batsmen.He mght be fit and ready to go tomorrow :D. If I was england coach, I ould have done this because Finn is the best current english bowler. Keep him fit and hungry and raring to go just like a hungry lion. Just like SW variations and SJ tesra lolz.

  • John on November 14, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    @Makkered on (November 14 2012, 11:53 AM GMT) A good job Broad was so ineffective when India toured last year.Otherwise your humour may be backfiring a tad

  • John on November 14, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    @o-bomb on (November 14 2012, 11:57 AM GMT) I think you have to weigh it all up. If Broad was on a hot streak then maybe risk him but right now many (inc myself) question a fit Broad in the side , let alone an unfit Broad

    @jmcilhinney on (November 14 2012, 13:27 PM GMT) To be fair to a-bomb - Broad was risked when not fully fit for the SL 1st test and I think he could be the bowling version of Bell where his place is cemented no matter what - and this coming from a fan of the guy

  • sri on November 14, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    I want KP injured. No offense just that he makes it hard for us and i want to see how English cope with out KP in sub continent.

  • Adrian on November 14, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - I was being facetious a bit yes. Sometimes it seems Broad is undroppable regardless of how well he's playing. I think it's likely the XI will be Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Patel, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Anderson. Had Broad not been fit though it'd have been interesting to see who of Onions and Meaker they'd have gone for (I'd assume Onions as he seems to be next in line). Personally I'd be tempted to play Panesar and just 2 pace bowlers, but that'd be a big gamble.

  • Ritvik on November 14, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    England should think out of the box and tinker with their playing XI. Cook, Bell, Trott, KP, Morgan, Bairstow(wk), S.Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson! Drop Prior and make it a batting heavy eleven..even if his experience, guile and audacity behind the stumps may be missed. 18 member squad? Send back Meaker, Root and Compton and save some on expenditure. Haha. With Finny injured, Panesar, Onions and Prior would be subs. Think out of the box and create your best opportunities of winning based on conditions and opposition!

  • Ashok on November 14, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    It is immaterial for India Who the seamers for England are, provided Gambhir & Sehwag are determined to put up at least their average opening stand in India of 53 runs. That should be their first target. They have to play in a disciplined & responsible knocks & no fishing for the balls outside the off stump or any of their T-20's irresponsible hacks. A good opening stand in the very first test sets the trend for the series & gives the rest of the Indian batting the confidence needed. If these 2 openers get back to their form, which made them the best openers about 2 years back, then India will be in good shape. I personally think that Finn & Broad must take time off & rest rather than aggravate their injuries. I can understand their keenness to play.Pace bowlers will mean less on the Indian pitches than in English conditions. I expect England will go 3 seamers + 1 spinner & India will counter 2 seamers + 2 spinners. Both teams will have all rounders Patel & Yuvraj- as backup spinners.

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