England in India 2012-13 December 12, 2012

Finn in doubt for Nagpur Test

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Steven Finn has emerged as a major injury doubt ahead of the fourth Test in Nagpur after suffering a back injury. Finn, who missed the first two Tests with a thigh strain, reported some soreness on the final day of the Kolkata Test. A scan has shown a minor disc injury in his lower back and he was unable to take any part in training on Wednesday.

While the England team management are not ruling Finn out of the Test, his inclusion would appear to involve them taking an uncharacteristic risk. They are expected to pick just two seamers for the game, so will be loathe to go into it with any injury doubts over one of them.

Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the Test after a scan on his left heel showed bruising. He will remain with the squad for now with a decision taken over his availability for the Twenty20 games over the next few days.

Tim Bresnan is the likely replacement for Finn. Bresnan was dropped after a disappointing performance in the first Test in Ahmedabad but, with his ability to bat and his experience, is likely to be preferred to Graham Onions, who has struggled for rhythm in his few opportunities on the tour.

The England Performance Programme (EPP) squad is currently in Pune, but there are no plans to call-up a substitute for Broad or Finn. Stuart Meaker, who was called up as cover for Finn and Broad earlier in the tour, joined the EPP squad ahead of the Kolkata Test and is not with the Test squad.

The news completes a miserable Test tour for Broad. Named vice-captain at the start, he failed to take a wicket in either of the first two Tests, was dropped for the first time since 2008 ahead of Kolkata and has struggled with injuries and illness throughout.

"Stuart Broad is out of this Test match," England's captain, Alastair Cook, said. "His scan has showed a bruised heel and we'll assess him over the next day or so to see what happens with the Twenty20. We'll know a bit more when it settles down.

"It's the nature of sport, isn't it? Some people have good tours and some people don't. Unfortunately, more down to niggles and illnesses, Broady hasn't quite managed to get into the tour. It's frustrating for him and disappointing for us as a side. But we all know the class of Broady, and he'll be back."

England are currently leading the four match series 2-1 and looking to complete their first series win in India since 1984-85.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on December 14, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    @Meety - re "(injury fee hopefully)!" - does this mean he gets paid for getting injured. No wonder he and Broad are getting injured all the time. You may want to have a word with some of your quicks too if the same applies to them

  • Meety on December 14, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 12 2012, 17:17 PM GMT) - I think people have a quick look at his stats, (4 wickets per match & a S/R below 50) & say well he must be good. IMO - he has promise, but I won't take much into his stats until his Bangladesh factor drops to about 10% of his Test wickets. So far he has done well, & can evolve to be the spearhead over the next 5 to 10 years, (injury fee hopefully)!

  • phoenixsteve on December 13, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    May the best team win both the toss and the match! Good luck to fans everywhere but..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • igorolman on December 13, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    Brezzy lad has lost it since his surgery, and his batting has regressed too, much like Malfoy's. Onions is the obvious replacement, but England have to accept that the infinite line of reserve seamers isn't as good as it was a year ago. At least we have the world's greatest reserve spinner now! ;) Get your kit ready for Old Trafford Monty!

  • on December 12, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    In a must not lose game then Onions has to be picked.

  • on December 12, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Sad for England, but Finn really must be protected. Bresnan's batting average is ten better than Broad's and has a marginally better bowling one; howeever, Meaker's extra pace could be useful.... Is Patel still a shoe-in? Spose he does deserve one more chance.

  • on December 12, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Shame England didn't call up Meaker again after Broad's bruised ego - sorry, heel - came to light. Failing Meaker, Bresnan's our best bet, not least because this is likely to be a low-scoring game on a minefield of a pitch, & an extra 40 or 50 runs from Bres might be the difference between winning & losing. The vast majority of England fans, however, seem to be plumping for Onions. I wonder if they're aware that his only first-class wicket on this tour cost exactly a hundred runs, while Bresnan's taken nine @27 apiece thus far.

  • BustIPL on December 12, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    I think now stuart meaker will get the chance as both Finn and Broad not there and should be ready for Ashes.

  • subbass on December 12, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    pointless requesting Onions. Bresnan is nailed on to play. Some are a bit harsh on Tim, give him a break he usually is a reliable performer as his record proves.

  • on December 12, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    If it's a real 'Bunsen Burner' how about Tredwell. Apart from his obvious skills in the bowling department, he is an excellent fielder and a decent no. 8 bat.

  • JG2704 on December 14, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    @Meety - re "(injury fee hopefully)!" - does this mean he gets paid for getting injured. No wonder he and Broad are getting injured all the time. You may want to have a word with some of your quicks too if the same applies to them

  • Meety on December 14, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 12 2012, 17:17 PM GMT) - I think people have a quick look at his stats, (4 wickets per match & a S/R below 50) & say well he must be good. IMO - he has promise, but I won't take much into his stats until his Bangladesh factor drops to about 10% of his Test wickets. So far he has done well, & can evolve to be the spearhead over the next 5 to 10 years, (injury fee hopefully)!

  • phoenixsteve on December 13, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    May the best team win both the toss and the match! Good luck to fans everywhere but..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • igorolman on December 13, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    Brezzy lad has lost it since his surgery, and his batting has regressed too, much like Malfoy's. Onions is the obvious replacement, but England have to accept that the infinite line of reserve seamers isn't as good as it was a year ago. At least we have the world's greatest reserve spinner now! ;) Get your kit ready for Old Trafford Monty!

  • on December 12, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    In a must not lose game then Onions has to be picked.

  • on December 12, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Sad for England, but Finn really must be protected. Bresnan's batting average is ten better than Broad's and has a marginally better bowling one; howeever, Meaker's extra pace could be useful.... Is Patel still a shoe-in? Spose he does deserve one more chance.

  • on December 12, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Shame England didn't call up Meaker again after Broad's bruised ego - sorry, heel - came to light. Failing Meaker, Bresnan's our best bet, not least because this is likely to be a low-scoring game on a minefield of a pitch, & an extra 40 or 50 runs from Bres might be the difference between winning & losing. The vast majority of England fans, however, seem to be plumping for Onions. I wonder if they're aware that his only first-class wicket on this tour cost exactly a hundred runs, while Bresnan's taken nine @27 apiece thus far.

  • BustIPL on December 12, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    I think now stuart meaker will get the chance as both Finn and Broad not there and should be ready for Ashes.

  • subbass on December 12, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    pointless requesting Onions. Bresnan is nailed on to play. Some are a bit harsh on Tim, give him a break he usually is a reliable performer as his record proves.

  • on December 12, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    If it's a real 'Bunsen Burner' how about Tredwell. Apart from his obvious skills in the bowling department, he is an excellent fielder and a decent no. 8 bat.

  • wibblewibble on December 12, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    I want Onions. I wanted Onions in the team for the Saffers, but they sent him back to county cricket and took 9-30 that day.

    I want Onions, they gonna pick Bresnan - it's almost a certainty. Onions is precise, wicket to wicket, always pressuring, can bowl fast enough, can get some reverse movement, always tests the batsmen, very few bad balls, and can go all day.

    Bresnan can bat a bit better, Onions is a proper bunny, and on that basis they will always go for Bresnan. SADFACE.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Is it just me or are many on here overrating Finn? He is decent for sure but I don't rate him any higher than Onions or possibly Meaker or possibly Bresnan. What he does offer if pace so if they're going to go for a like for like they have to go with Meaker. I think there are arguments for either of the 3.

  • mikey76 on December 12, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    For goodness sake not Bresnan. Why they sent Meaker packing is beyond me. He looked impressive in the warm ups. Even an out of rhythm Onions is a better bet than an out of form Bresnan. I hope England don't go all defensive, playing for the draw. Pick your best possible attack. Bresnan isn't one of them at the moment.

  • priceless1 on December 12, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    come on now give Meaker a chance

  • RandyOZ on December 12, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    Not quite as quick at Pattinson or Cummins, Finn would be quite a big loss considering the lack of depth in English bowling at the moment.

  • SirViv1973 on December 12, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    @obomb, I agree that Bresnan hasn't done much recently and I don't really like the idea of him being one of only 2 seamers. My personal choice would be Meaker he's as close to a like for like in terms of Finn that we have. Problem is he is with the performance squad and I'm not sure wherabouts in Ind they are at the moment. Onions is still with the squad but I don't think he's played any cricket since the 2nd warm up game which is probably about 5 wks ago now. Cricinfo please publish my last 7 or 8 posts have been ignored which is rather annoying!

  • on December 12, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Too early for Tremlett's return - he needs some county cricket to show that he is able to bowl as he used to following his back and knee operations. Plenty of EPP players show promise, but this is not the test to blood new pace bowlers in, unless you really have to. Onions or Bresnan: either will do a decent job, though the loss of Finn is a blow.

  • Heart_of_Oak on December 12, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    We should definitely use Meaker if we can't play Finn. Meaker has shown himself to be devastating with the EPP. Bresnan has done nothing speical on this tour. Bresnan is a good player in the right conditions and he can make useful runs. But we should back our batsmen to produce enough runs and then pick a bowling unit which can take 20 wickets. Sadly I don't think Bresnan can help with that in the Indian conditions. Nor has Patel done enough to be included either as a bowler or a batsman. So the team ought to be :

    Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Swann, Monty, Anderson, Meaker.

    However, I have no doubt at all that we'll pick both Patel and Bresnan and that niether will play a significant role in this test.

  • krvij on December 12, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    I don't know what's with the fast bowlers these days. Umesh Yadav bowled well in a test and disappeared after. Fin coming back after injury, bent his back at kolkata, now injured again! What's the point in having pace and bowling well if the player cannot remain fit.

  • bharatputra83 on December 12, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Does it really matter? It's not as if he was going to take a fifer or something here.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 12, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    In his last few Tests Bresnan has shown none of the qualities required for Tests and his batting has been somewhat lacking too. 2nd seamer is not a big part,and hopefully Finn may feel he is okay to do some work. But I would rather give Onions the gig OR Meaker,my preferred choice, who cam be too hot for the INdians. Really it's a pity there is no injury transfer system- a picture as in Dorian Grey in some attic somewhere racked in pain and half crippled...

  • on December 12, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Bresnan's pace of between 78 and 82mph is the answer to a question that no test team shouldn't even be asking. If England wanted a slow medium trundler, the county game is full of better ones than Brensnan. If he can bowl 86+ and reverse it - then fine - if he can't he is just baggage.

  • landl47 on December 12, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Given the nature of the pitch expected in Nagpur, it's really no big deal. Bresnan can bat a bit and bowl some reverse swing. Now if Swann or Panesar were injured, THAT would be a concern.

  • tony122 on December 12, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    This is unfortiunate that Finn can only play in One test. Because of all the promising young fast bowlers in the world he looks the most likely to become a future great- much more than Patterson,Cummins or Philander.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 12, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Incidentally, on Twitter Jon Agnew is reporting that England are "all fir apart from Broad". Smoke and mirrors again???

  • CricketingStargazer on December 12, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Tigg I think that we have seen that the extra pace makes a real difference here. We only saw Onions in one match without him looking particularly threatening, he also looked pretty inoffensive in his outing in the UAE and Tim Bresnan was very disappointing after performing so well in the warm-ups. Unless one or other has really looked back to their best in the nets, I think that the extra pace of Meaker would be a bonus, although it looks like there are no plans to use him. Going in with only one seamer looks to me like a bad option: if we lose the toss and bowl, India could take the match away from us in a session - it is a huge gamble that might only be justifiable if we win the toss and bat for a day and a half. Tredwell is there as cover for Swann and Monty as they wanted an extra spinner in case one or other became unfit on the morning of a Test (Tredwell must have been close to playing in Mumbai with Swann reportedly ill when the match started).

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 12, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Losing the world's fastest bowler from your team would be tough on anyone, luckily England have their long-proved depth in squad to make up for him. Onion's accuracy could count for much on this Nagpur minefield.

  • jackthelad on December 12, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    It's unfortunate, Finn is the pick of the England quicks; Onions is probably the best bet as a pinch-hit replacement, since Bresnan will never be more than a solid medium-pace trundler, and England can't afford to field him in this game. Fully agree that nos 1 - 7 should get the runs, to require runs as well as wickets of bowlers is short-order game nonsense. In any case, England are in the driving seat and have the luxury of knowing that a draw will do; and I can't see this sclerotic India side winning.

  • on December 12, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Hasn't Monty been opening the bowling anyway? I'm not sure it'll make much difference. Might give Bres an opportunity to rediscover his ability with the old ball.

  • SirViv1973 on December 12, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Sadly Finn is starting to look as fragile as some as the young aussie quicks which is a bit of a worry. Although I like Bresnan and he will add more depth to the batting I've never really seen him as more than a 3rd seamer at best, in any attack. I have serious concerns as to how effect he will be in a 2 man pace attack with Jimmy. I'm not sure how far away from Nagpur the performance squad are but I would much preferred to have seen Meaker given a game. The attack seamed extremly well balanced for the conditions in Kolkota & I think Meaker would have been the closest like for like replacement for Finn.

  • big_al_81 on December 12, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    If they're going to retain Patel (and I think they are - I probably would give him one last go on this tour) then the case for Tredwell isn't as strong despite the fact that he's a significantly better bowler. Personally, I'd go for Onions as he's the best seamer available, despite the fact that, by his own admission via Twitter ID he's 'bunnyonions'. If they were to seriously consider the 3 proper spinners option (which I doubt) they could lose Patel for this Test and give Bairstow another go. People are right - the batsmen should be there to get the runs the bowlers to take wickets - after that anything else is a bonus (especially with Prior at 7 - who should go to 6 IMO).

  • SDHM on December 12, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    They can't go back to Bresnan can they? He's bowled well in only one of the last six or seven Tests he's played, looks down on pace and hasn't been contributing with the bat. Would be a massive backwards step after dropping Broad. Pick Onions - a better bowler who, with his attacking-the-stumps methodology, would be a real handful on a pitch with uneven bounce. To go back to Bresnan when he has done nothing to warrant being picked for a while in the first place would be counter-productive.

  • DrTchock on December 12, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Onions, for goodness sake. Check out every available metric and statistic you want, as well as the very best anecdotal evidence or 'expert' (yes Broady, 'expert'!) opinion, and it simply has to be Onions to replace Finn.

  • Tigg on December 12, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Surely it's time for Onions to get a go. He's quick, not Finn quick but sharp, and bowls an aggressive, skiddy, wicket-to-wicket line.

    Bres, like Broad, is down on pace and doesn't look as threatening.

  • Lmaotsetung on December 12, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    I guess it's time to start bringing Tremlett slowly back into the picture. Apart from Meaker, I don't know if any of the kids on the Lions squad are ready for international cricket yet.

  • o-bomb on December 12, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Bresnan has done very little over the last year or so. If Finn isn't fit to play in Nagpur; are Meaker and Onions still in the squad?

  • Badgerofdoom on December 12, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    What about Onions? While I'm a fan of Bresnan he's just not been the same since that elbow operation.

  • on December 12, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Is Stuart Meaker not still with the squad? Would be a risk, but he has pace and has a bit about him.

  • Meety on December 12, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Unfortunately for England the pace bowler injury trend is spreading from Oz! Finn is developing into a far better option for England than Broad.

  • Charlie101 on December 12, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Is Tredwell in India yet - I know he was going as cover for Swann in the ODI squad but perhaps he should be considered with just Anderson as a fast bowler. They say the pitch is going to turn so 3 spinners plus Patel may be the way. Trott would then have to bowl some overs of his medium pace .

  • ChrisCole43 on December 12, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    If Finn isn't fully fit then he shouldn't play - that's the easy decision. As to who should replace him - The cautious option would be to go for Big Bres - whole hearted tryer who strenghens the tail. However, I'd go for Onions though as the better bowler. I've always stood by the fact that 1 to 6 (or 7 in our case with Prior) get you the runs, the rest of the lineup take the wickets. Ie:- don't play a lesser bowler at 8 just in case the batsmen don't perform.

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    They have Graham Onions with them in the squad, and Onions is a better option than Bresnan. Bresnan is not a test bowler by any means.

  • kirankerai on December 12, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    no this is bad finn had pace

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    I dont think Bresnan is the right choice would more rather Onions or Meaker personally.

  • Maxyboy_123 on December 12, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    As much as I think Bresnan is a good cricketer, this would be a huge blow. Finns extra height and pace made a real difference last week. I have a feeling that Finns career could be blighted by injury. Lets hope England can manage his workload. NO 2020!

  • venkatesh018 on December 12, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Please pick Graham Onions. He is the best of the reserves.

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    We need to fly Meaker to Nagpur now. Picking Bresnan would be the biggest indicator that the hierarchy are looking to draw the match. His bowling since his elbow injury has been well short of test standard and he never provides the runs that his supposedly superior batting should give the team.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 12, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Will the last player on his feet on either side please stand up! There have been an astonishing number of injuries to both sides in this series. It would be a major loss if Steve Finn were unfit and an interesting conundrum as to who should play in his place. If the desire is to have someone quick who can shake up the more timorous of Indian batsmen you just wonder if Stuart Meaker might not find himself called across to join the squad again. If not, Bresnan or Onions? Bresnan seems still not to be himself, but a very abrasive pitch will encourage reverse swing (Jon Agnew has reported that it is cracked and rough), which is his speciality, while Onions may struggle to get much out of the Nagpur surface. Interesting choices!

  • creekeetman on December 12, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    not even a mention of onions who is england's best seamer after anderson, just incredible.

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Sorry but Finn is a right old sicknote, thats the problem with beanpole qquick bowlers. Only Glenn Mcgrath wasnt like it. I mean their workload is hardly excessive, 250 overs a year tops. Fred Trueman used to bowl 1000 overs a year and never break down. Just goes to show for all the support teams and gym work, the modern fast bowlers are as soft as the proverbial compared with the old guys.

  • on December 12, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    I'm starting to get that Simon Jones feeling about Finn. Too many injuries already. As with Jones it would be a great shame if Finn was not able to get on the park more.

  • jmcilhinney on December 12, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Van Damme! Another fast bowler injured and it's another back injury! I just don't recall so many fast bowlers being continually injured in the past. He did a fairly creditable job in Kolkata so it could be a blow to lose him. Are we convinced that Tim Bresnan has come back from his poor showing in Ahmedabad sufficiently?

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Big loss for England, Finn is quality. Like Morkel his height and and angle make him a difficult proposition. Bresnan for me is not good enough for Test cricket

  • roflrofl60 on December 12, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    NOOOO Not Bresnan, bring in Onions or someone. Bresnan is so overrated.

  • on December 12, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    These days faster bowlers are suffering from injuries.Broad,Yadav and now Finn.although a good sign for India as Finn bowls brilliantly in last test.

  • SamRoy on December 12, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    England should play Meaker or else play a third spinner in Tredwell. No point in playing bowlers who bowl 80-82 mph in India. Cannon fodder for Indian batsman. I have seen Tredwell; he is pretty good, far better than Ashley Giles.

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  • SamRoy on December 12, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    England should play Meaker or else play a third spinner in Tredwell. No point in playing bowlers who bowl 80-82 mph in India. Cannon fodder for Indian batsman. I have seen Tredwell; he is pretty good, far better than Ashley Giles.

  • on December 12, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    These days faster bowlers are suffering from injuries.Broad,Yadav and now Finn.although a good sign for India as Finn bowls brilliantly in last test.

  • roflrofl60 on December 12, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    NOOOO Not Bresnan, bring in Onions or someone. Bresnan is so overrated.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Big loss for England, Finn is quality. Like Morkel his height and and angle make him a difficult proposition. Bresnan for me is not good enough for Test cricket

  • jmcilhinney on December 12, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Van Damme! Another fast bowler injured and it's another back injury! I just don't recall so many fast bowlers being continually injured in the past. He did a fairly creditable job in Kolkata so it could be a blow to lose him. Are we convinced that Tim Bresnan has come back from his poor showing in Ahmedabad sufficiently?

  • on December 12, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    I'm starting to get that Simon Jones feeling about Finn. Too many injuries already. As with Jones it would be a great shame if Finn was not able to get on the park more.

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Sorry but Finn is a right old sicknote, thats the problem with beanpole qquick bowlers. Only Glenn Mcgrath wasnt like it. I mean their workload is hardly excessive, 250 overs a year tops. Fred Trueman used to bowl 1000 overs a year and never break down. Just goes to show for all the support teams and gym work, the modern fast bowlers are as soft as the proverbial compared with the old guys.

  • creekeetman on December 12, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    not even a mention of onions who is england's best seamer after anderson, just incredible.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 12, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Will the last player on his feet on either side please stand up! There have been an astonishing number of injuries to both sides in this series. It would be a major loss if Steve Finn were unfit and an interesting conundrum as to who should play in his place. If the desire is to have someone quick who can shake up the more timorous of Indian batsmen you just wonder if Stuart Meaker might not find himself called across to join the squad again. If not, Bresnan or Onions? Bresnan seems still not to be himself, but a very abrasive pitch will encourage reverse swing (Jon Agnew has reported that it is cracked and rough), which is his speciality, while Onions may struggle to get much out of the Nagpur surface. Interesting choices!

  • on December 12, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    We need to fly Meaker to Nagpur now. Picking Bresnan would be the biggest indicator that the hierarchy are looking to draw the match. His bowling since his elbow injury has been well short of test standard and he never provides the runs that his supposedly superior batting should give the team.