Finn misses training and Broad out of Test
Steven Finn today missed England’s last net practice ahead of the fourth and final Test with India due to a disc strain in his lower back.
On the eve of the crucial match at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium, the tourists learned that Stuart Broad will definitely be unfit and Finn may also be unavailable tomorrow.
England, 2-1 up with one to play, therefore have three fully-fit seamers in their squad: James Anderson, Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan.
Broad was this morning ruled out of contention because of his bruised left heel, but may still be available for next week’s two Twenty20 internationals.
Finn, who like Broad was sent for a scan yesterday, did not train today and a final decision about his selection will be made tomorrow morning. Finn replaced Broad for last week’s seven-wicket win in Kolkata after recovering from a thigh strain.
Broad first suffered his heel injury in a tour match in Mumbai last month. After experiencing more discomfort at net practice yesterday, he was sent for a second scan which showed the same as the first one he underwent five weeks ago.
Test captain Alastair Cook confirmed the news at his press conference.
“Stuart is out of this Test match,” he said. “His scan has showed a bruised heel and we’ll assess him over the next day or so to see what happens with the Twenty20. We’ll know a bit more when it settles down.”
Broad went wicketless in his two Tests and Finn made four breakthroughs at Kolkata.
“It’s the nature of sport, isn’t it? Some people have good tours and some people don’t,” Cook added. “Unfortunately, more down to niggles and illnesses, Broady hasn’t quite managed to get into the tour.
“It’s frustrating for him and disappointing for us as a side. But we all know the class of Broady, and he’ll be back.”
In the absence of Broad, England have the opportunity to make Cook’s first tour as captain one to remember.
A first series win in India since 1985 is the prize should the tourists avoid defeat in Nagpur.
“Always on the eve of any Test match, you’re nervous,” Cook added. “It’s an incredible situation we find ourselves in and we’ve played some really good cricket to get there.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the character we’ve shown. I think I said after Ahmedabad (when England were beaten by nine wickets) that if we could play close to our potential we have a chance of winning.
“That last game was a real team effort from everyone. You can’t really fault any of the guys, the way we contributed, and we’re going to need more of that here.
“We always desperately wanted to win this series and we’ve got an opportunity to try to do that.
“We know how hard we’ve worked over these last couple of games and we’ve got to do it again.”
Successive victories, by 10 wickets and seven in Mumbai and Kolkata respectively, have brought England this far after their chastening series-opening defeat.
“I don’t think they’ll say it’s been easy,” Cook said of his team. “There is a lot of skill and hard work that’s gone into it.
“I’ve got to ask the guys from one to 11 in the lucky XI who get to play tomorrow to produce that same kind of guts and determination we’ve shown in the last two games again.
“We’re here to do a job and that job is still on. We said at the beginning of the series we wanted to win it and we’ve put ourselves in a situation where we’ve got a chance to do that, and we’re desperately keen not to let that chance go.”