England in India 2012-13 December 12, 2012

Finn in doubt for Nagpur Test


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

  • John 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

  • Andrew 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)!

  • Steve 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!!!

  • Matt 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!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 22:41 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Tahir 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.

  • Mike 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

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