India v England: Steven Finn ruled out, Stuart Broad optimistic

Steven Finn
Steven Finn

England paceman Steve Finn has not recovered from a thigh strain in time for Thursday's first Test with India in Ahmedabad.

Finn tested his thigh strain last weekend but will now not be risked having missed Tuesday's net practice.

England captain Alastair Cook confirmed on Wednesday that the bowler would not be ready in time.

Stuart Broad, who recently sustained a bruised heel, was able to bowl at full speed in Tuesday's session.

The vice-captain practised as scheduled, bowling six overs off his full run in two spells.

"Broady's pretty good, he always says he only needs 10 overs before a Test so we'll see, he's recovered well, the heel's feeling well so I'm certain he'll be ready and raring to go," England wicketkeeper Matt Prior told BBC Sport.

Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan is the most likely replacement for Finn, who was injured in the opening match of the tour against India A at the end of last month.

Bresnan is England's leading wicket-taker on the tour thus far, with nine wickets from the two first-class matches.

Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions are other options to join James Anderson in the seam bowling ranks.

Surrey's Meaker was called into the squad as cover and was the more successful of the two in the final warm-up match against Haryana, taking 3-74 in the first innings and 1-19 in the second, while Onions was wicketless in the first innings and took 1-34 in the second.

Prior, who has recovered from a debilitating sickness bug suffered during the match against Haryana, said of the first part of the Indian tour, which comprises four Tests and two Twenty20 internationals: "I've put my stall out for this to be a pretty physically exhausting four-and-a-half weeks.

"My role in the team to keep everyone going is something I enjoy but it's not just one guy doing it, as a team we've been very good at it, and that's the important thing, that all 11 guys are out there buzzing around and helping the bowlers out."

Meanwhile, Cook has praised the attitude of Kevin Pietersen who is back in the team after his much-publicised absence, and the captain says he is pleased to have the batsman back in the fold.

"I wanted all of the world-class players that we have to be available for selection," said Cook. "The issues which happened had to be dealt with properly and I think we have got the best solution. We now have a hungry KP who is desperate to put a few things right.

"He made a couple of mistakes but he has put his hand up about those and now we have to move on as a side. I think the way he has come back in on this tour has been fantastic and his attitude and work ethic and the way the lads have dealt with it has been really good.

"Now it is time to draw a line under it and stop talking about and see what he does best, which is scoring those runs which no-one else can do."

England (from): Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Stuart Meaker.

India (from): Mahendra Dhoni (capt, wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay.

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