Finn ruled out of Mumbai Test
Mumbai, Nov 21: England paceman Steven Finn has been ruled out of the second Test against India with a thigh injury. England team director Andy Flower confirmed that Finn, who missed the first Test of the series, in Ahmedabad, has aggravated his injury ahead of the Mumbai Test that begins on Friday.
However, if Finn clears the second scan he is due to undergo on Wednesday, he might be part of an England Performance Programme, with a view of recovering in time for the final two Tests, in Kolkata and Nagpur.
“Steven has been working hard to get back to full fitness,” Flower said. “He has unfortunately hurt his leg again, a couple of days ago, and is having another scan tomorrow. We don’t think he’s got any structural damage, but it would be careless to suggest that he might play the second Test.”
“What we might do is send him off to the Performance Programme that arrived in India earlier this morning. They’ve got a three-day game starting on the 27th. If he’s ready for that, which is the last day of the second Test, we’ll put him through his paces in that. If he comes through that well, he’ll be available for the third and fourth Tests,” said the England coach.
England’s pace trio of James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad failed to make an impact on the first Test, which England lost by nine wickets. Finn’s towering height and the extra pace he generates surely adds a lot of bite to the pace attack on the slow Indian tracks. He showed his worth during England’s ODI series here last year.
“His last real cricket out here in India was during the one-day series about a year ago, and he bowled superbly,” said Flower. “That extra pace would certainly assist us. But that’s not to be (for now), so let’s hope he gets fit and ready for that third Test.”
Finn’s recovery apart, Flower has a major task on his hand, to help his team overcome the disappointment in Ahmedabad and prepare for the second Test.
“It’s disappointing to lose, and I think we’re all well aware that if you go one down in India, it is a tough fight back,” he said. “But that’s what we’re here to do. We’ve still got three games to go. We did the same in Sri Lanka, and had some success in the second Test match. That’s what we’ll be looking for here in Mumbai.
“It is a serious challenge for us. But as Cook and (Matt) Prior especially showed, it can be done; it can be overcome. We need our middle order to fire, some of our experienced batsmen to bring that experience to bear in the middle - not in training, but in the middle. That’s what we expect,” Flower said.
Flower admitted one of the reasons for England’s loss in the first Test was their error of judgement in selecting the bowling attack. He said, the visitors might go with two spinners in the Mumbai Test but will take the final decision after having a look at the wicket.
“Monty Panesar, of course, has a chance to play,” he admitted. “We might well go with two spinners, but we’ll judge that when we actually see the conditions.”