Finn fitness raises Kolkata hopes
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.