England’s series aspirations received an inopportune jolt as their gangly pacer Steven Finn was ruled out of the first Test due to an indebilitating strain on his right thigh.
Skipper Alistair Cook confirmed this on Wednesday. “In these conditions, it isn’t wise to field a bowler who isn’t hundred percent fit. And we can’t risk two players recovering from injuries (the other being Stuart Broad) in the same Test,” he informed.
In all likelihood, Tim Bresnan would replace Finn ahead of other contenders such as Graham Onions, Stuart Meaker and Monty Panesar. But Cook kept it under wraps.
“They’re all vying for a place to play in this XI, to be lucky enough to play for England. They’ve all worked hard to get used to these conditions and as selectors we’ve got a tough decision to make,” he said.
Finn was one of the brighter spots in England’s 5-0 ODI series loss to India, as he consistently troubled batsmen with his lift and sharpness.
Meanwhile, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma too was ruled out as he hasn’t recovered from viral fever, which had forced him to miss the practice on Thursday. “Ishant is down with the viral and hasn’t fully recovered. So it’s unlikely that he would be available for selection,” Indian skipper MS Dhoni said. In any case, Umesh Yadav was the front-runner to partner Zaheer Khan.