England bowler Steve Finn on course to be selected for third Test against India

Series level at 1-1

Mumbai

Steve Finn is on course to be selected for England in the Third Test in Kolkata next week. With six days still to go before the match starts that does not mean the way is yet clear but the announcement today that he will travel with the squad is decidedly optimistic.

Finn, who is recovering from a thigh injury, bowled seven overs for the England Performance Programme XI today as they beat a Mumbai Academy XI by an innings and 193 runs. It was the leg spin of Scott Borthwick, of Durham, which did the final damage with 6-38 which was heartening for the long term.

But with the next few days in mind it was Finn’s spell that counted. Added to his 16 overs in the first innings which yielded four wickets it amounted, just, to the sort of workout he needed.

Had he not come through the match he would have been on a flight back to England. The tourists are perhaps keener than they are letting on – and they are letting on quite a lot – to include him in the Test side.

With the series level at 1-1 they are sure his raw pace can make a difference but with the attack likely to comprise two fast bowlers and two spinners they have to be certain of his ability to last five days.

Stuart Broad, the vice-captain whom he is likely to replace, looked short of form and fitness in the Second Test win in Mumbai and that cannot be allowed to recur. If Finn fails to confirm his fitness after an injury that has taken longer than expected to improve Broad will probably keep his place, although Graham Onions is with the party.

Ian Bell, flew into Kolkata today after returning from paternity leave in England. He flew home to be with his wife, narrowly missing the birth of their first child who arrived earlier than planned.

England have a difficult call to make with Bell’s place as well. He has been out of form for much of this year and they must decide whether to recall him in place of Jonny Bairstow who made only nine in the win in Mumbai.

Stuart Meaker, who joined the squad as cover a fortnight ago and was seriously considered for the second Test is staying in Mumbai with the performance squad.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot