Cook hints at Finn’s selection over Broad
Kolkata, Dec 4: After levelling the series 1-1 in Mumbai, England have received a further boost ahead of their third Test against India. It has come in form of the recovery of their lanky fast bowler, Steven Finn. England skipper Alastair Cook seemed pleased with the development during his interaction with the media on the eve of the Test.
"On Steven Finn's injury, it's great he's now fully fit,” Cook said on the eve of the Eden Gardens Test against India. “He adds competition to the squad, he's a fine bowler and it's great to have him available for selection.
“It's disappointing he's missed two games but it's great that he's back and we've got some tough selection meetings ahead of us. But as a captain and as a coach, that's what you want. You want people pushing for places,” Cook said of Finn, who missed the first two Tests of the series due to a thigh strain.
While he kept the team’s composition for the Test a secret, Cook hinted that Finn might replace his out-of-sorts pace colleague, Stuart Broad, for the third Test.
"He's got a little bit more pace than the other guys and he bowled well here on the subcontinent in the one-dayers [last year]," Cook said. On Broad’s poor runs, the captain said, "It's been tough for him. He's been unlucky, he hasn't been fully fit either; he's had illnesses and things. He's had a tough couple of games but I'm very glad he's English and part of this squad. He's had some fantastic performances over the past year."
As form goes, the England captain has been in great touch himself. He has well and truly led the team from the front with the bat with centuries each in the first two Tests of the series. The English captain puts it down to his increased responsibility towards the team.
"May be the added responsibility makes you more accountable to the side. That may have helped my batting...I really don't know if it happened that way, but it's nice. As a captain you always want a good start with the bat, show that you can cope with the demands. That's how it has happened but I can't put a finger on how it happened,” Cook said.
Thanks to their captain’s prolific run-scoring, England managed to bounce back in Mumbai to draw level with India in the series. While admitting that the team is much more confident going into the third Test, Cook insisted that both teams will start out as equals when they take field at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
"The Mumbai win has certainly left us a little more confident and with the belief that what we are doing is fine. That doesn't mean it is going to count for anything in this match.
"What we are doing on spinning tracks is right. But we need to improve on that. We are going to need some stand-up performances like we did in Mumbai if we are to have a chance," insisted the skipper
"After the first game the momentum was with India but we managed to bounce back in Mumbai. So the momentum doesn’t really help.
"With the series at 1-1, and two more matches to go, it's a good place to be as a player. You want to play in big games and that's what we have over the next two weeks. That's exciting,” Cook said.