Finn and Ishant out of opening Test
Fast bowlers Steven Finn and Ishant Sharma have been ruled out of the first Test between India and England at Ahmedabad, which starts tomorrow.
Finn has not recovered in time from a thigh strain that he suffered a fortnight ago, early in England’s first tour game.
Ishant is unavailable due to a viral infection. He was doubtful yesterday when the hosts called up fellow seamer Ashok Dinda as cover.
Touring captain Alastair Cook revealed the news about Finn at today’s press conference ahead of the opening Test of four.
“Steven won’t be available for tomorrow’s Test match,” said Cook. “It’s just come a little bit to early.
“He’s made some fantastic progress with the injury. It’s come on better than we thought, but unfortunately he’s not going to make it. It’s too big a risk to go into a game, any Test match, but especially in these conditions with a guy whose not 100 per cent and hasn’t bowled.”
Signs over fellow paceman Stuart Broad’s recovery from a bruised heel are more encouraging after he took a full part in training yesterday and today.
Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions and Monty Panesar will be vying to replace Finn, each presenting a strong case to Cook's selection panel.
“They’re all vying for a place to play in this XI, to be lucky enough to be selected for England,” he added. “They’ve all worked hard at their skills to get used to these conditions so as selectors we’ve got a tough decision to make.”
That call will depend on the state of the relaid Sardar Patel Stadium wicket, which Cook has checked but will not jump to a conclusion about.
“Wickets change a lot in 24 hours,” he reflected. “Yesterday it looked quite a dry wicket and I think it’s been relaid so not much first-class cricket has been played on it.”