x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Finn in line to replace Onions

Graham Onions, the England bowler, has been ruled out of the first Test match against Bangladesh with a back injury.

Graham Onions, the England bowler, has been ruled out of the first Test match against Bangladesh with a back injury. The Durham paceman picked up the problem during net practice after joining up with the one-day international squad. Fellow bowler Stuart Broad also has a back injury and was due to have a fitness test last night as he looks to prove his fitness for the match which starts tomorrow in Chittagong.

James Tredwell seems certain to come in after taking eight wickets against Bangladesh A in a warm-up match and, if Broad is also ruled out, there could be a whirlwind Test bow for Steve Finn. The 6ft 7in 20-year-old only arrived in the country on Saturday, but caught the eye against Bangladesh A and may have leapfrogged Liam Plunkett and Ajmal Shahzad in the pecking order. Andy Flower, the England coach, said: "I wouldn't rule Finn out. He's been added to the party and he's a contender for selection. "He's bowled with pace on a slow pitch and bowled with accuracy; he's quite a good prospect."

Tredwell, meanwhile, has also done a fine job of proving his credentials to Flower. "He's got a bit of confidence now and, if we decided to play two spinners in the Test, he's feeling good about himself," added Flower. Meanwhile, Mark Greatbatch, the New Zealand coach, says his side are fully focused on trying to level their one-day series with Australia when they play the fourth game in Auckland today. Australia lead 2-1 and the Black Caps have to win today to avoid Sunday's game in Wellington being a dead rubber.

"They're 2-1 up, we've got two to win," Greatbatch said. "We're not thinking about Wellington, we're thinking about Auckland. We just need to go longer and better over the next 100 overs." The hosts are likely to be without James Franklin (hamstring) and Daryl Tuffey (calf) for the match. Australia, despite losing vice-captain Michael Clarke after he returned home for personal reasons, have won the last two games and captain Ricky Ponting is hoping his men can continue that form.

"The momentum, if there's any to be taken out of this game, is with us. If we start the game strongly hopefully the momentum continues for us there." he said. @Email:gcaygill@thenational.ae