Saker talks up Finn fitness

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England fast bowling coach David Saker says his charges will be ready for Rajkot

England fast bowling coach David Saker is fully expecting paceman Steven Finn to be fit for the five-match one-day international series against India, which gets under way on Friday.

Finn was one of the few bright spots last time England played an ODI rubber on Indian soil, in October 2011, constantly troubling batsmen with an array of impressive hostile spells amid a 5-0 loss.

Doubts over his participation in this contest came from him missing three of the four Tests between the sides prior to Christmas due to a calf injury.

However, Saker is confident Finn will be ready for the opening match at Rajkot, saying: "If we can get a few overs into him in the next few days, I think he will be fine for the first one-day international.

"He is going to be a key for us because he has got that pace; he did really well in the last ODI series we had over here and I am confident he will be fine."

Finn's role will be crucial in ensuring England's seamers achieve one of the main aims their mentor has set out.

Steven Finn

Steven Finn is expected to be fit for the opening ODI between England and India, according to bowling coach David Saker. “He's going to be key," said Saker

He added: "We need wickets up front; that is really important. I think Pakistan showed in the ODI series they've just had (when they won 2-1 against India).

"If you can get wickets with the new ball, you are going to put a lot of pressure on the Indian team. As a bowler, whether you are a spin bowler or fast bowler, your job is to get wickets.

"We have just got to find a way to do that. It is harder in India than other places but we will be working hard to do that."

England have been enjoying more familiarity in India than they would have hoped, with conditions during yesterday's warm-up defeat against a home A side akin to those in the UK.

Indeed, temperatures were around two degrees in Delhi yesterday with fog ensuring the game was reduced to 39 overs each at the Palam Services Ground.

While acknowledging those conditions were more familiar to England, Saker suggested that the tourists would still prefer to play in the kind of heat usually associated with India.

"It should be easier for an English team than an Indian team you would think," he joked. "It is not easy; we talked yesterday about the difference between playing in Colombo in that extreme heat and playing yesterday.

"Most of the players would like to play in the heat rather than the cold because it is a really tough battle playing in such weather. But I think we have got to just get on with it."

Something else England have not previously experienced is the latest round of ICC changes to the one-day international game.

Those mean quick bowlers can now use two bouncers per over, one more than before, while the maximum number of fielders outside the 30-metre ring in non-powerplays has been reduced from five to four.

“We’ve talked about the regulations quite a lot and come up with our plans but until we get out there and see how those plans work we won’t really be sure,” said Saker.

“I think they’ll be in favour of us with the fast bowling attack we have, definitely in English conditions although India may be a little different.

“My philosophy is to do the basics right and our normal plans should still work well, but the big thing is the extra bouncers that will be bowled. If the wicket is conducive then it is going to play into our hands.”

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