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Seam options leave Strauss in enviable position

May 24, 2012 20:51 IST
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England's fast bowling options are a luxury for captain Andrew Strauss but he sympathises with the likes of Steve Finn, who was left kicking his heels in the first Test against the West Indies.

Stuart Broad, fresh from his 11-wicket haul at Lord's, and James Anderson will again lead England's attack in the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on Friday with the third pace slot up for grabs.

Tim Bresnan played as the third seamer in England's five-wicket victory in the opener but could come under pressure from Finn, who has bagged 53 wickets in 13 Tests.

Steve FinnWith Graham Onions also waiting in the wings, England's attack is well-stocked as they prepare for the match at a ground which generally offers swing and pace.

"It's the way of the world at the moment," Strauss told a news conference at Trent Bridge in bright sunshine on Thursday.

"We have five or six Test quality seamers and only three of them can play, so it's unfortunate for the guys who are left out.

"It's a management thing and we have to make sure they know they are appreciated and wanted. If they do miss out they know that when the opportunity comes they need to take it.

"It's a great position for us as a side to be in, but frustrating when you are left out. But you learn from that and it makes you hungrier when you get the chance."

West Indies were dealt a blow when fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who took four wickets on his debut, was ruled out for the rest of the three-match series with a back injury and replaced by Tino Best.

However, captain Darren Sammy will have Ravi Rampaul available after he missed the opening Test and Dominican spinner Shane Shillingford could also play.

"We will definitely consider playing Shillingford," Sammy said.

"Looking at our attack playing on flat pitches over the last year or so a spinner has always been in our line-up with two quick men and myself and that has been successful for us. We will consider that and hopefully go and take 20 England wickets.

"The last year and a half Ravi (Rampaul) has been the guy that takes wickets with the new ball and with the way Roach is bowling that could be a very good combination against England."


England were made to work harder than expected by the tourists at Lord's, crumbling to 57 for four as they chased a victory target of 191 before Alastair Cook and Ian Bell steered their side home with a fifth-wicket partnership of 132.

Strauss said England were prepared for some more hard graft.

"They made life very difficult for us and we were relieved to get over the line and win but we will have to do it again this week if want to win," he said.

Nottinghamshire's Broad, who will be playing at his home ground, will look to carry on where he left off at Lord's.

He echoed his captain's opinion that there was no room for complacency.

"In international cricket you always have to be at the top of your game and keep performing," he told the ECB's website.

"You keep pushing yourself in training to get better. Having the strength of competition that we have is important in that.

"Someone like Steven Finn would be in most Test teams in the world at the moment and he's having to wait patiently for his opportunity."

Photograph: England's Steven Finn throws a ball during a training session before Friday's second Test against the West Indies at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham. (Philip Brown/Reuters)

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