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Recurrence of thigh injury to Finn likely to open Test door for Panesar

England will discover after a second scan on Steven Finn's thigh injury today whether he is likely to play any part in their Test tour of India.

The fast bowler was yesterday ruled out of the second match of four, starting in Mumbai on Friday, but England remain optimistic that he may yet be back in the reckoning for the third and fourth Tests in Kolkata and Nagpur.

After the tourists' nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad, many were convinced that Finn was needed to try to start the fightback.

It is, therefore, discouraging that, after a recurrence of the thigh strain he suffered three weeks ago, England must continue in the short term at least to get by without him.

Finn's unavailability does solve one selection problem, though. England's critics have also prescribed a return at the Wankhede Stadium for Monty Panesar as a second spinner – a scenario which probably would have put vice-captain Stuart Broad's place under threat in a four-man attack.

That vexed equation no longer threatens, but Finn's absence is a blow none the less to England's chances of overturning historical trends by recovering from 1-0 down to win or even draw in India.

Andy Flower, the England coach, broke the news of Finn's setback. He said: "He has unfortunately hurt a leg again, a couple of days ago, and is having another scan tomorrow.

"We don't think he's got any structural damage, but it would be careless to suggest he might play in the second Test."

Panesar's return is pro-bable, but Flower is reserving judgment until he has seen the second-Test pitch.

The coach added: "Monty Panesar, of course, has a chance to play. We might well go with two spinners, but we'll judge that when we actually see the conditions."

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