England in India 2012-13 November 29, 2012

Finn fitness raises Kolkata hopes

ESPNcricinfo staff

Steven Finn will remain with the England squad and could be set to feature in the third Test against India after coming through unscathed in the England Performance Programme team's match against Dr DY Patil Sports Academy. Finn will travel to Kolkata with the rest of the Test squad on Friday, meaning Stuart Meaker returns to the EPP party.

Although Finn went wicketless from seven overs during the innings victory, he bowled with good pace and reported no discomfort. It had been expected that he would be sent home should any doubts about his fitness remain but he is now in contention to replace Stuart Broad for the Kolkata Test.

Finn missed the first two Tests of the series after injuring his thigh during England's opening warm-up match against India A. He subsequently aggravated the problem and had only bowled four overs on tour before being included in the EPP side. In the first innings he claimed 4 for 50 and his extra pace, carry and bounce could give England's attack a different dimension on sluggish surfaces.

Broad, who remains the fast bowler with the most Test wickets in 2012, has not added to his tally in two appearances against India and suffered from illness in the build-up to the Mumbai Test, which England won by ten wickets to square the four-Test series. Since July, Broad has taken 11 Test wickets at 54.00 and England bowling coach, David Saker, recently admitted that his performance in Mumbai "wasn't up to scratch".

In the EPP match, Durham legspinner Scott Borthwick took six wickets on the final day, as the hosts were bowled out for just 87. Meaker, who was called up as cover for Finn at the start of November, again impressed by taking 3 for 8 in the innings-and-193-run win.

Ian Bell will rejoin the squad in Kolkata, having returned to England on paternity leave, while James Tredwell has been added as cover for the senior spinners, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vageesan on December 2, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    M.Vijay, G. Gambhir, C. Pujara, S. Tendulkar, V. Kohli, V. Sehwag, M.S. Dhoni, R. Ashwin, I.Sharma, P.Ojha, A.Dinda..... No use keeping zak in team if MSD makes him bowl only 5 overs in an innings. Rather he can give opportunity to dinda and ishant. If this do not work out this is my team for south africa tour (purely based on performance)

    A. Rahane, G. Gambhir (capt), C. Pujara, S. Badrinath, V. Kohli, D.Karthick, R.Jadeja,I.Pathan, R.Ashwin, A. Dinda, Z.Khan Bench: U. Yadav, I.Sharma, P.Ojha, M.Tiwary, Smit patel (2nd wk , opening batsman)

  • Samuel on December 1, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    @electric-loco - suggest you check Swann's record against Pakistan & Sri Lanka, and his Test bowling average in Asia overall. Live in denial all you want, but he's pretty good.

  • Mark on December 1, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    @64W, it would be nice to think that India will be cooperative in Kolkata too and roll over quickly, but you have to prepare for the possibility that England will have to bowl 150 overs and that the seamers may have to come back for 3, 4, or even 5 spells in all. Finn did not bowl flat out in the first innings. He was closer to full pace in the second innings (7 overs in one spell). A Test though will be far more demanding. Having seen Stuart Broad's efforts when far from fully match fit I do not want to see the same error repeated. He needs to be sure that he can bowl more than one spell hitting 90mph. The idea is to win the Test, not to offer freebies to the Indian batsmen and play them back into form.

  • sam on December 1, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster- Spot on mate -better Eng admit that county trundlers like Anderson are no good at this level and the only decent fast bowl option is Steve Finn who can test batsmen with pace atleast . The problem is who is there to support - Finn can't by himself shoulder all burden ...surely.About the spinners- Panesar is distinctly bog average-unless occasionaly he picks wickets on 'minefields' Swann is proving ordinary with recent big defeats vs Pak ,SL and at home by S Africans -Exposing him after a few good series picking wickets vs weaklings like Bang,WI, NZ etc. Waiting for the Ashes though where the world's best batsman M Clarke is going to smash all records vs this Eng side- A couple of 300s including (most possibly) the first 400+ score is going to be taken off Eng bowling by Clarke himself....But for v poor weather another Ashes 5-0 drubbing is in waiting for Eng in just few months now...

  • Mike on December 1, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Anderson a county trundler ? yeah that's why he has taken over 200 test wickets and is rated number 2 in the world and is probably the best swing bowler on the planet. Damn, some people on here are either clueless or on a wind up.

  • Vikram on December 1, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    7 overs and match fit? I hope the English team do not become penny wise but pound foolish!

  • DAVRELL on December 1, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer Hey, but the fact that he had a good run in the first innings is enough don't you think.? It's like if he palyed a one day game, the fact remains that England would use him in short sharp burst, and face it, England would bat much longer than that team did, giving him a longer rest between innings, also look at the second innings in Mumbai, the quicks (sorry, the quick-Anderson. Broad is a spinner who doesn't turn the ball), didn't bowl that much.. I think England should risk him, if he can get the first 3 indian wickets early in the first innings- in the subcontinent the first innings in the most important, I think England should wrap this up comfortably.

  • Ross on November 30, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    I see they're still using the picture of Finn kicking the stumps over in his follow through. Are pics of him not doing that really that rare?

  • Shanmugam on November 30, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, surely, an Indian fan has no business calling bowlers like Anderson and Broad trundlers. Look at your own bowling 'attack', if you can call it one. The unfit Zaheer and the useless Ishant are the ones who are the real trundlers. How many wickets did fat Zak take in Mumbai? At least, Anderson took one.

    Broad definitely doesn't deserve a place in the XI. What are they doing? I hope the favoritism plague is not affecting England. I do like Broad as a cricketer but he seems so out of form and looks clueless in the field whether he has a bat or a ball in his hand or neither. He should get some rest, get himself fit physically and mentally and get ready for the NZ tour. Give a chance to Finn, England. Don't worry about the long tail. It wasn't any better with Broad and Bresnan in the XI, not in these conditions.

  • Procheta on November 30, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    If Ian Bell returned to England on "maternity leave", I think we have a real problem!

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