England in India 2012-13

Finn vital in inexperienced England attack

England's rotation policy has left them short of experience in the bowling ranks in India but in Steven Finn they have a quick bowler who can cause damage - so long as he stays fit

Andrew McGlashan

January 7, 2013

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Steven Finn appeals unsuccessfully for an lbw decision, England v India, World Twenty20, Group A, Colombo
Steven Finn will be looking to put a frustrating couple of months behind him © Getty Images

England will find out plenty more about their much-vaunted bowling depth over the next few weeks. Their options for the one-day series against India are inexperienced, verging on callow, in the absence of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

Tim Bresnan has played 65 ODIs. The next most-capped bowler is Steven Finn with 25 appearances; although Broad is due to bolster the squad for the final two matches.

The experience of Bresnan and strike-power of Finn will both be vital if England are to end their horror run of one-day results in the India. Not since the 3-3 draw in 2001-02, inspired by Andrew Flintoff with a significant role played by the now coach Ashley Giles, have England competed in coloured clothes on Indian soil.

The previous two series, in 2008 and 2011, were 5-0 whitewashes but in the second of those contests Finn emerged as a one-day bowler of considerable skill, extracting life from surfaces where others struggled and troubled India's top order with his pace and bounce. Finn's one-day numbers are impressive - 40 wickets at 25.90 - but there is a nagging concern about the amount of time he is spending sidelined by injury. It is not only Australia's young quicks who are limping off.

His Test series in India before was restricted to one appearance, albeit a decisive one in Kolkata where he claimed four wickets, with his tour top and tailed by thigh and back injuries. He returned to action in the opening warm-up match, against India A, sending down seven wicketless overs for 42 on a bitterly cold day in Delhi.

Finn will be essential in helping England claim early breakthroughs, which will take on added importance given the recent amendment to ODI playing conditions, allowing one fewer fielder outside the circle in non-Powerplay overs. England could not make early inroads against India A as the openers added 118 to lay the base for a matchwinning total.

But David Saker, the England bowling coach, believes another tweak to ODI playing conditions, to allow two bouncers per over, will favour England despite a feeling the bowlers overdid the short bowling against India A.

"We've talked about the regulations quite a lot and come up with our plans but until we get out there and see how those plans work we won't really be sure,'' Saker said. "I think they'll be in favour of us with the fast bowling attack we have, definitely in English conditions although India may be a little different.

"My philosophy is to do the basics right and our normal plans should still work well, but the big thing is the extra bouncers that will be bowled. If the wicket is conducive then it is going to play into our hands.''

With Finn and Bresnan almost certain starters, and James Tredwell likely to be the one frontline spinner, the final two pace-bowling slots will come from Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker and Chris Woakes. Dernbach was the pick of the attack against India A with 2 for 23 from seven overs while Woakes would add depth to the batting, the facet of his game that is developing more swiftly.

However, Meaker, who made his ODI debut on the previous India one-day tour, is an exciting prospect capable of reaching 90mph even on sluggish surfaces. It will be an interesting contest between the trio because there may be room for only one of them in a full-strength one-day squad when Anderson and Broad return.

England's opposition on Tuesday will include Ashish Nehra, the injury-plagued left-arm quick who last played for India during the 2011 World Cup, and Parvinder Awana who made his international debut in the Twenty20 series against England before Christmas but went wicketless in the two matches.

With an eye on India's future, though, there is an even more interesting name to follow. Unmukt Chand, the 19-year-old batsman who scored a hundred in the Under-19 World Cup final, will be at the top of the order. It will be a chance to for Chand to go head-to-head with Kevin Pietersen, his Delhi Daredevils team-mate, who he has credited with helping his game.

"You really feel confident when you have a session with someone like Kevin Pietersen," Chand said during the Champions League T20 last year. "I had an elaborate session in Pretoria where he gave me some valuable tips on technique."

Virender Sehwag has just been dropped by India and there could still be more changes to come if the series against England does not go well. Chand may not have to wait too long for his elevation.

21.00GMT, January 7: This article was correct to amend reference to Chand being the player of the U-19 World Cup

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by bonobo on (January 8, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

I think depth is Englands weakness in ODI cricket. When our best XI is out, we are I think a strong unit in all conditions, but are affected more than most when we have injuries and absences. For me India, lack confidence not depth. Finn, Swann and Broad (when fit) are world class ODI bowlers, Anderson is dangerous when part of a strong unit and Patels impact as the all rounder has been really underrated, But Dernbach seems has never impressed me, Meaker looks promising, but at the longer format for now, he seems expensive, Bresnan despite many appearances has on ordinary ODI record. England will be very reliant on the top 4 batsmen and Indias own lack of confidence. Winning an ODiIseries in Inida is one the great challenges for England in this format, gven the last 2 series results and I would have preferred they went with a full strength team, and rested players in NZE, but I guess they are thinking about the WC in Aus and Champions Trophy in Eng

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 8, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

When the Aussies got Whitewashed by England in England in 2012, Finn was just one of England's champion bowling unit. Looks like more of the same this year.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (January 8, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

Meaker is much more valuable because he is sharp and a wicket taker. Bresnan in comparison is a trundler and will be canon fodder for India's top order.

Posted by hotcric01 on (January 8, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

If Finn and Meaker are so pacy as some guys say why are they still categorized as "fast medium" in their cricinfo profiles,instead of "fast"?

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 8, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

I don't know which is the more surprising: RandyOZ giving a sniff of a compliment about an English bowler, or Front-Foot-Lunge getting a Featured Comment :-) Great stuff.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 8, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

@Trickstar, I admit I worded it incorrectly. What I meant to say was that England, currently ranked #1, ought to do better than previous results in India. We have done well in ODIs of late to deserve that #1 ranking but I only wanted to point out that our ODI record in India is appalling. We need not reverse it necessarily. Would be an herculean task to actually win the series but we should at least win a game or two. Another 5-0 result would really hurt.

And, I do believe that India has enough quality to inflict another 5-0 whitewash on us, their recent defeats against Pak. notwithstanding. We had a better team last year than the one we currently have and were still thumped. And, India were missing Yuvraj, scourge of England's attack in the past, among others. With Kohli and Dhoni averaging >50, and Raina who has good stats against us in ODIs, I think Indian batting is really strong considering our raw bowling attack.

Posted by Adonisarun on (January 8, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Sure that India will win this series given the fact that English attack don't have a leftarmer or a genuine swing bowler in their arsenal, who wouldn't test Indian top order with in and out swingers as junaid did. Gambhir could escape this time around aswell. Looking forward to see how pujara manoeuvres in middle of the innings. Exciting future prospect unmukt hoping him to score big to roar his way into team India.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 8, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

I like the rotation policy and believe it is neccessary to prevent burn out, which with the 3 formats and lack of rest is inevitable. Hopefully Finn will not break down leaving us severely weakened, this is a serious bilateral affair and not a development tour and I dread the thought of getting walloped and the usual inane posts re:Indian wealth of talent, cricketing and world superpower stuff and of course the Randy0z/Jones2 and the identity fraudster. I am also 'outing' The_Ashes it hails from some part of the Asian continent and most certainly not England or the land of the dingo. This series could go either way and if England could start well, Indian confidence must be low right now, we'll see. Interesting the story of Dhonni being given all those MOM's to preserve his confidence, and who said the sporting spirit is dead- you couldn't make it up.

Posted by Trickstar on (January 8, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

I don't think it's right what the writer says about vaunted bowling depth, in Test match cricket we have that much vaunted bowling attack, not so much in one day cricket though, it's just not something the Counties seem to concentrate on for some reason.Tbh though any team missing 3 of their automatic choices is going to look inexperienced I agree with others, with Swann being rested it should have been an option Monty playing but saying that his record is awful even in List A.

@Shan156 what does a teams record years ago have with their present ranking, it doesn't.England's record this year especially has been amazing, only losing 2 games out of 14 and didn't lose a single game against Pakistan, WI & Australia. India aren't as good and England have changed since even the last time. Funny how you're so sure it's going to be 5-0 to India, have you been watching them play recently, if you had you would be struggling to see how they'd win a series against even Bangladesh.

Posted by Hammond on (January 8, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

Finn will be the best fast bowler in the world in a few years.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (January 8, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

India's a beaten team now, proper beaten. England to batter them, will be surprised with any other outcome. The England unit is good.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 8, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

@sonicattack on (January 07 2013, 20:48 PM GMT), I believe that it's the real RandyOZ. Who else would ignore the fact that speed guns show that Finn is faster than Pattinson and at least as fast as Cummins?

Posted by landl47 on (January 7, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

Just a quick comment: I've no idea why Panesar wasn't selected for this tour. Briggs is a good young prospect, but Monty is a proven matchwinner in India. Monty can't bat, but Briggs isn't any great shakes either- so was Briggs chosen for his fielding? Surely, with Swann and Anderson not in the squad, Panesar had to be the best bowler for the conditions. Strange selection policy.

Posted by sonicattack on (January 7, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

Can't believe that was the real RandyOZ! - but yorkshirematt you are dead right about the Australian attack, it's hard to remember what Cummings looks like...anyway, Finn's fitness is a worry, what on earth is causing these promising fast bowlers to have so many injuries?

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 7, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Again all the emphasis being put on a fast bowler... When are people going to realise that the spinners can keep the run rate down and build pressure, perhaps even get the wickets? Tredwell and Briggs are vital.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (January 7, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Ah RandyOZ, Pattinson and Cummins - the latest 'next Glenn Mc Grath's according to Channel 9. That makes them 18th and 19th by my count.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 7, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

I'm looking forward to seeing young Unmukt Chand perform at this level. Together with Pujara, these two could well be the face of a new & resurgent India two or three years from now. Of course, they'll need proper managing & wise counsel which isn't necessarily a given in India (i.e. keeping them away from too much the bashing game). From Eng's perspective, I expect them to put to the test. Much more will be known about players on both sides when this series is done, but I do expect India's top order to be subject to a severe examination against genuine pace if Finn & Meaker both play.

Posted by Nampally on (January 7, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

It will be interesting to see whether Delhi plays its full side with regulars which include Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, U.Chand, Ishant, Awana, Nehra, Manhas, Bisht. If all the regulars are playing it will be a good workout for the England team.Finn is certainly the most accurate amongst the England seamers. So he will lead the attack accompanied by Dernbach, Meaker & Bresnan. In batting KP , Bell, Cook & Morgan will be the leaders. However Anderson & Swann will be badly missed. Also England may have been better off with Panesar in absence of Swann. It will be a tough series especially after India's poor show against Pakistan. India will certainly be a better batting side with the addition of Pujara, who was inexplicably excluded for Pakistan series. India failed to use the openers Vijay & Mukund in the squad & are unnecessarily still experimenting.But England may be able to test its might against the Delhi side - if all regulars are playing.

Posted by ibbotsoni on (January 7, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

Randyoz that was bordering on a compliment. I almost spat out my co co pops.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (January 7, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

High praise indeed randyoz! Although even as a yorkie I have to admit that Anderson is England's best bowler and far from toothless and Finn has some way to go to match him. As for Pattinson and Cummins, and the rest of the aus attack, if they could actually get a run of games together without getting crocked they'd be half decent!

Posted by Vilander on (January 7, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

KP helping out young Chand is much like what a young KP got from the then stud Dravid a few years ago..

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 7, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

Not quite up to the pace of Pattinson and Cummins, and with far less movement through the air, but still a good prospect for England in an otherwise toothless attack.

Posted by NickeyT on (January 7, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

What about Danny Briggs ? He played well during the only ODI he did.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (January 7, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

"much-vaunted bowling depth" - ahem, those who know about english cricket, the ones who a paid members of counties and go to county games, know that this 'depth' was a media beat up during a narrow period when we had some decent players on the park at the same time. For a brief period we had avoided the normal attritional rates for injuries to our bowling stocks and people believed there was some great depth to English cricket. Well as a middle member I've watched Finn all his life and there is no-ine else in the wings across both divisions. Broad's a busted flush (not playing here) and Anderson ("rested") is on the cusp of losing a yard of pace which will send him back to what Matthew Haydyn described as a "B-grade net bowler". Dernbachs's aim is a good as Hamisson's and lucky to get it on the cut strip. He's a classic english "all mouth and no trousers bowler"..odd considering he is yet another Protea in the side. Followed by yet another in Meaker!!!!

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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