Steven Finn has been ruled out of the Ashes due to a knee injury. Finn sustained the injury when batting in the nets in Perth on the first day of middle practice. He was given an injection a couple of days ago but the injury, which has now been diagnosed as torn cartilage in his left knee, has failed to improve as hoped.
Finn will return to England in the next 48 hours where he will seek the advice of a knee specialist to ascertain whether he will require an operation.
While no decision has yet been made about possible replacements Tom Curran, Tom Helm and Liam Plunkett would appear to be the favourites for a call-up. Neither Helm nor Curran have played Test cricket, though Helm was named in the Lions squad that is due to arrive in Brisbane on November 15. It is understood Mark Wood is still not considered fully fit.
The news is a cruel setback for Finn. Sent home early from the 2013-14 winter tour of Australia having been deemed “unselectable”, the series offered an opportunity for redemption. He was also dropped midway through the 2010-11 Ashes series.
England were already without Ben Stokes. Finn was named as his replacement in the squad following Stokes’ arrest after an incident in Bristol and Toby Roland-Jones, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back.
Meanwhile England trained with a pink ball in Adelaide on Tuesday ahead of their maiden first-class match of the tour, starting on Wednesday. They have decided to limit the workload of their main seamers so Stuart Broad will miss the game – he is fully fit and bowled at full pace in the nets – and James Anderson will play but then sit-out next week’s game in Townsville.
As a result, Jake Ball and Craig Overton will go head to head in competition for the position of fourth seamer in Brisbane – Ball is very much in pole position following the match in Perth – and Mason Crane will have another chance to impress as the side’s only specialist spinner.
Selection for the match against a Cricket Australia XI also confirms that James Vince will bat at No. 3 in the first Test in Brisbane and that Dawid Malan will bat at No. 5. Gary Ballance and Ben Foakes find themselves on the sidelines.
England team to play Cricket Australia XI: 1. Alastair Cook 2. Mark Stoneman 3. James Vince 4. Joe Root (capt) 5. Dawid Malan 6. Jonny Bairstow (wk) 7. Chris Woakes 8. Jamie Overton 9. Jake Ball 10. Mason Crane 11. James Anderson
Source: ESPN Crickinfo