x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Broad warned over England form as Finn edges near Test return against India

The off-form bowler has been challenged to get back to his best after Steven Finn's recovery from a thigh injury put him back in the frame for next week's third Test in Kolkata.

England's Stuart Broad shows the ball to teammate James Anderson.
England's Stuart Broad shows the ball to teammate James Anderson.

Stuart Broad has been challenged to prove he should retain his place in the Test side ahead of fit-again Steven Finn.

The England pace bowler was wicketless during the series-levelling win over India in Mumbai this week after an off-form performance.

Finn increased the pressure on Broad by shaking off the thigh strain which had ruled him out of the opening Tests during a strong comeback showing for the England performance side.

Now England bowling coach David Saker has admitted the pressure is on Broad to retain his place for next week's third Test in Kolkata, particularly with the team likely to field just two pace bowlers following the success of spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

"He's finding it tough, no doubt," said Saker

"Bowling fast over here isn't easy, and you have to find a way to survive. The really great bowlers always have.

"He's learning it the hard way at the moment, and it's probably not going the way he'd like it to go."

Saker added: "I think he had a little bit of an illness, but once you cross the line you're 100%.

"His performance wasn't up to scratch, but that happens over here.

"This place can really dent your confidence quickly.

"As a fast bowler, you want to see a few balls zinging through to the wicketkeeper - and it's hard to do that at times.

"He's finding that difficult but it's something he will learn from and, we hope, become a better bowler for it."

Finn appears to be in a better place in terms of form and must now come through the rest of the EPP fixture unscathed to complete his Test push.

"If he gets through there's a good chance he might play in Kolkata, without a doubt," added Saker.

"He's a special talent and has the pace we probably need for this place. We'd like to get him in the team."

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