Home > Features >

Steve Finn might push Stuart Broad out of the eleven for the Kolkata Test

Steve Finn might push Stuart Broad out of the eleven for the Kolkata Test

England may go with Steve Finn (left) ahead of an out-of-form Stuart Broad in Kolkata © Getty Images

Banking on the deception of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, England trumped India in the second Test of the four-match series at Mumbai and gave them a taste of their own medicine. Bowling in tandem on a turner at the Wankhede Stadium, the tweakers picked up 19 Indians – players who are known to play spin well. The famed English pace attack didn’t have much of a role to play as the spinners completely dominated the contest. That performance camouflaged the fast-bowlers – a department that hasn’t performed so well off late. Andy Flower and the team management would be bit concerned even as England rejoice their victory.

During England’s rise to the top of the Test rankings last year, their fast bowlers played a critical role and helped them win a number of Test matches. With a number of options, they seemed to have depth as an injured player would be seamlessly replaced by someone waiting in the wings. In 2012, England have majorly toured Asia and their pace attack hasn’t been very dominant. One might have expected such returns given the unhelpful surfaces.

Stuart Broad is clearly under pressure as things have gone downhill for him after the series against Pakistan in the Middle East. In fact, David Saker, the England bowling coach admitted that Broad hasn’t been up to par so far on this tour. The right-armer has failed to pick a wicket in the two Test matches on this tour. It hasn’t been an easy ride for James Anderson as well (who has picked two wickets), but his place is assured as he has been decent.

In the aftermath of England’s loss in the first Test, Broad had a go at some of the experts who had scrutinised his performance. Broad tweeted, “And before u listen to too many ex playing ‘experts’ being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test series in India.” Considering Broad’s record in the sub-continent, he shouldn’t have put his foot in the mouth. Here are his overall numbers in the sub-continent:

M* Wkts Avg Inngs Best Match Best 5WI
7 11 69.63 2 for 70 3 for 135 0

*does not include the Middle East.

One can see that Broad has struggled to perform on tours to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In seven games he has scalped only 11 wickets and has a match best of three for 135. These aren’t figures one would expect from a frontline bowler. He did decently well in the Middle East early this year, but if you take that out, his record in Asia is found wanting.

England’s other option, Tim Bresnan has had a difficult 2012 and hasn’t replicated the consistency he showed last year. Due to this, he finds himself on the sidelines with England opting for two seamers. Here is his record in 2012:

M Wkts Avg Inngs Best Match Best 5WI
7 16 51.12 4 for 37 8 for 141 0

If one excludes the match haul of eight wickets he got against the West Indies, one can see that he has picked only eight wickets in the remaining six Tests. Bresnan lost his place to in the final Test against South Africa at home even as England played three seamers. It was clear that their preferred trio was Anderson, Broad and Steve Finn.

England have been bolstered by the fitness of Steve Finn. The tall right-arm pacer had missed out on the first two Tests due to injury, but is now fit and raring to go. England would want to maintain the same bowling combination for Eden Gardens i.e. two spinners and two fast-bowlers. Anderson would not be dropped as he is the leader and the senior bowler. Thus, Broad may have to make way for Finn to give some life to the fast bowling. Finn’s progress over the last twelve months has been fantastic and he has grown in stature. He bowled well during England’s limited overs tour to India last year and that should hold him in good stead.

Given Broad’s struggle, they can ill-afford a non-performing member in the eleven. England have to maintain the intensity as they have won a Test against all odds. That has put India on the back-foot and they need to put pressure on the hosts. A stronger English pace attack would certainly help in that regard.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here