England’s bowlers endured a tough day on the flattest of batting wickets in Ahmedabad yesterday, but can at least be cheered by Steven Finn’s continued recovery from injury.
Tim Bresnan led a hard-working attack and took two wickets as Haryana responded to 521 all out with 172 for four on day two of four in the final warm-up before next week’s first Test against India. There was also a fifth half-century of the match for England from Samit Patel (66), before Rahul Dewan (77no) and Sunny Singh (55) responded in kind.
But perhaps the most heartening event for the tourists took place out of sight in the nets behind the Sardar Patel Stadium B Ground, where Finn bowled three overs off his full run without discomfort.
He and Stuart Broad are both sitting out this fixture because of injury and it was thought the latter had the best chance of recovering from his bruised heel in time to start the four-match series.
But Bresnan said: “Finny, as far as I know, is off his full run now. That’s a very good sign. With six days to go, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be fully-fit.”
Finn’s availability may well mean Bresnan himself does not make the first-choice attack next week. He does not see it like that, though. “You throw someone like Steve Finn in there who is bowling 90mph plus consistently and getting bounce and lift, he’s going to add to any team,” he said. “He probably would get in any side in the world.”
As for his own prospects, Bresnan added: “It would put a dampener on my preparation if I thought I wasn’t going to play. I’m ready and hope I get the nod.”
Bresnan was the pick yesterday, if slightly more expensive than Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions, in difficult circum- stances England know may well be replicated in the Tests.