England sweat on bowlers’ fitness

Home team takes on New Zealand in final ODI at Trent Bridge today.

Afp June 04, 2013
England captain Cook is a worried man as his fast-bowling contingent faces injury concerns ahead of the Champions Trophy. PHOTO: AFP


England may have to re-think their Champions Trophy plans if they find themselves without injured pace bowlers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.

The duo has yet to be ruled out of today’s third and final One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, having missed the defeats at Lord’s and Southampton.

After Sunday’s 86-run humbling loss at Southampton, England captain Alastair Cook was unsure whether the two seamers would be fit for Saturday’s Champions Trophy opener against Australia.

England could also lose Tim Bresnan, due to leave the squad for the imminent birth of his first child and the likes of Chris Woakes and Jade Dernbach, whose 10 overs on Sunday cost 87 runs, struggling to contain New Zealand’s batsmen, the team appear to be dangerously over-reliant on James Anderson and off-spinner Graeme Swann.

However, Cook dismissed talk of England being a limited ODI side in Broad and Finn’s absence.

“I think that would be doing a disservice to the other 13 guys in the squad,” he said. “Clearly, you take two premier bowlers out of anyone’s side, and it’s going to hurt the side. You might have to change the way you play.”

England have played the same side in both defeats against New Zealand, which saw them give up a four-year unbeaten record in home ODI series, and Cook conceded changes, which might see the likes of James Tredwell played as a second spinner, could take place in Nottingham.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2013.


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