Tag Archives: seamer

England lose Test warm-up game by three wickets to New Zealand XI

Watling's second half-century gives Cook and Co plenty to ponder ahead of first Test as England lose tour match

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:33 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:33 GMT, 2 March 2013

England suffered an unexpected defeat as BJ Watling's second half-century of the match proved too much for the tourists at the Queenstown Event Centre ground.

Watling (89no) followed his unbeaten 66 in the first innings with another telling contribution to help a New Zealand XI chase 334 to prevail in a tight finish with eight balls and three wickets to spare.

England, in their first red-ball fixture of a double-Ashes year in this warm-up for the first of three Tests in Dunedin, were losing in a first-class tour match for the first time in almost seven years – the last defeat came against an India board XI in Vadodara.

Trudging off: England captain Alastair Cook alongside Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad react after losing to the New Zealand XI

Trudging off: England captain Alastair Cook alongside Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad react after losing to the New Zealand XI

Watling finished with eight fours and two sixes from 122 balls, in a run chase which featured three other individual scores between 40 and 50 as England – without rested frontline seamers James Anderson and Steven Finn – paid for an unconvincing performance with the ball in particular.

Graham Onions lost his way, and it is hard to see him being considered as the go-to back-up Test seamer if needed after recording match figures of one for 213.

Inconsistent batting from the top six was also part of the problem – with Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton all short of runs as the Test series looms.

There was no particular shame in losing to a team in which all but Carl Cachopa have international experience, and five – including wicketkeeper Watling – are in the squad to face England again next week.

It is hardly the start Alastair Cook would have wanted nonetheless as his side seek to follow up their historic series win in India with more success here over the next three weeks.

After England declared on their overnight 256 for nine, progress was initially unremarkable for both sides.

Openers Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham began the chase with their second stand of 56 in this match, at four-an-over on a cloudy morning which yielded no immediate headway for Stuart Broad and Onions with the new ball.

Rutherford even climbed into an upper-cut which deposited a short ball from Broad high over point and into the enclosure in front of the players' pavilion for six.

Soon afterwards, Broad hit the same batsman on the head with a sharp bouncer.
But it was first-change Chris Woakes who made the first breakthrough when Rutherford cut him into the hands of point.

Woakes was rewarded for a spell which was much-improved from his first-innings efforts, and Broad also struck in the next over when he switched to a fuller length and bowled a static Cachopa for a third-ball duck.

Onions looked a slightly more likely wicket-taker too for a time, but no one could find a way past Latham or Neil Broom up to lunch.

Their stand had extended to 64 by the time Swann got Latham two short of his half-century, apparently caught-behind as he tried to sweep.

Then with the first ball after mid-session drinks, Broad saw off Broom lbw playing no shot.

When Dean Brownlie went too before tea, neatly caught low at second slip by Swann off the returning Woakes, the hosts were running out of frontline batsmen.

But Watling and Corey Anderson, who had battered England for a rapid century stand in the first innings, were once more in occupation.

They almost repeated the dose too, in a partnership of 82 this time which took the hosts to well within 100 runs of their target with more than 20 overs remaining.

Onions had suffered at Anderson's hands yesterday, and did so again today in two overs which cost 23 runs and contained three no-balls.

A much-needed wicket came from an unlikely source in Joe Root, who did Anderson in the flight as he aimed another big hit to leg and was bowled.

Swann, off the field for several overs previously, returned only to almost immediately drop Watling on 47 off Broad at gully.

It proved a costly miss – because, even after Jimmy Neesham had pulled a Root long-hop straight into Broad's hands at square-leg, Watling saw the job through against the second new ball in an unbroken half-century stand alongside Neil Wagner.

Stuart Broad ruled out of final Test in India

Injured Broad to fight his way back after being ruled out of final Test in India

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

Over the last four years Stuart Broad has been, when fit, one of the first names on England’s team sheet. Now, he is on the outside looking in.

Broad was ruled out of Thursday’s final Test with a recurrence of the heel injury suffered in the second warm-up game.

It is the latest setback for the seamer, who was omitted from the third Test in Kolkata after two wicketless matches. He now faces the biggest challenge of a career that has seen him, at 26, take 172 wickets in 52 Tests.

Blow: Stuart Broad will miss England's final Test in India through injury

Blow: Stuart Broad will miss England's final Test in India through injury

A decision will be made over Broad leading England in the two T20s which follow the Tests but surely he would be better off going home and taking stock.

This tour will go down as his worst. Passed fit for the first Test, he struggled in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and the second Test win was followed by what seemed a kick up the backside from bowling coach David Saker, who said world-class quicks always find a way to get wickets on the subcontinent. Ouch.

Earlier Broad had a Twitter spat with Sir Ian Botham, questioning the right Sky pundits had to criticise him when England had not won a series in India for 28 years. Botham took 13 wickets, and hit 114, in Mumbai in 1980.

Big fan: Andy Flower has faith in Broad but he has not been at his best

Big fan: Andy Flower has faith in Broad but he has not been at his best

Then Broad told the world he was not well during the Mumbai Test; England had denied he was ill. Much of this feistiness is what attracts team director Andy Flower to Broad, who has vowed to work harder than ever to earn his place back.

In 2011, he responded to criticism with some of his best bowling despite three major injuries that year. Even this year, he has 40 wickets. Last week Nasser Hussain said Broad should be a certainty for the 2013 Ashes. Now Broad must prove him right.

India drop Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh for final Test v England in Nagpur

India drop Yuvraj, Zaheer and Harbhajan ahead of do-or-die final Test in Nagpur

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 9 December 2012

Dropped: Yuvraj

Dropped: Yuvraj

India's selectors have responded to their seven-wicket defeat against England in Kolkata by dropping three of their squad for the final match of the series starting in Nagpur next week.

From the third Test XI batsman Yuvraj Singh and seamer Zaheer Khan have been dropped, while spinner Harbhajan Singh – who played in the 10-wicket defeat in the second Test in Mumbai – is also out of the squad.

Called up in place of the trio are all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, seamer Parvinda Awana and leg spinner Piyush Chawla.

The timing of the announcement in the immediate aftermath of another humiliating defeat is bound to raise further questions over the leadership of the side, with captain MS Dhoni coming under increasing pressure from the country's media.

India are trailing the four-match series 2-1 and need to win in Nagpur to avoid defeat.

Dhoni made it clear after the defeat that he was happy to defer to the wisdom of the Board of Control for Cricket, but that he relishes the opportunity to try to put his team back on track.

'The selectors are here to decide,' said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

'It's always fine to lead a side when they're doing really well, and everyone's performing.

'But that's not the time when you need a leader.

'Leading a side is all about (doing it) when the team is not doing well, trying to gel them together, back the youngsters and the senior guys.

'The easiest thing for me to do right now is to give up the captaincy and be part of the side, because that's just running away from the responsibility.

Off the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda AwanaOff the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda Awana

Off the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda Awana

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

'I have to get the team together, and be prepared for the next Test match.'

Dhoni does not believe either that India are at their lowest ebb in his tenure, citing instead whitewash defeats away to both Australia and England.

'We were not really able to compete (then).

'We know what our faults are here, and I think we should be able to rectify them.'

He believes a lack of collective productivity among India's frontline batsmen in back-to-back defeats in Mumbai and Kolkata is the main problem.

'I think the batting order will have to take the responsibility.

'We need to score more runs, on a very good wicket to bat on like this.

'Of course, the bowlers will bowl a few good deliveries that you need to keep out.

'But in the top seven, most of us need to score at the same time to give the bowlers a par total to defend.

'Otherwise, it's very difficult and you find yourself under pressure.'

Sachin Tendulkar"s future in doubt as he heads towards 40

Whispers grow louder about Tendulkar's future as he approaches 40

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 27 November 2012

The future of Sachin Tendulkar was on the lips of almost every Indian after the selectors made just one change to a 15-man squad for next week’s third Test.

With seamer Ashok Dinda coming in for the injured Umesh Yadav, the players who lost so heavily here have been given the chance to redeem themselves in Kolkata. And all eyes will be on Tendulkar.

India’s most marketable export has endured runs of bad form before but his failure at the Wankhede, where he was removed twice for eight by Monty Panesar, means he has scored 153 runs in his last 10 Test innings.

Doubts: Sachin Tendulkar will be 40 in April and his future in the game is being discussed frequently by Indian media

Doubts: Sachin Tendulkar will be 40 in April and his future in the game is being discussed frequently by Indian media

Barely a news show goes by in India without a former player commenting on Tendulkar’s future. He turns 40 in April and locals are fretting.

Seven times in those 10 innings Tendulkar has been bowled or lbw; previously, those modes of dismissal accounted for only 38 per cent of his innings. ‘My concern is whether that great mind is tired of concentrating as the way he has been getting bowled suggests,’ said former Test spinner Maninder Singh.

India fans have other concerns, too, and the selectors rowed back from their plan to name a squad for the last two Tests.

Fail in Kolkata, it seems, and you may miss out in Nagpur.

No 6 Yuvraj Singh and off-spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin are particularly vulnerable.

England paceman Steven Finn ruled out of first Test in India

England set to turn to Bresnan after Finn ruled out of first Test in India

PUBLISHED:

07:08 GMT, 14 November 2012

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 14 November 2012

Steven Finn has been ruled out of England's first Test against India by a thigh strain.

England captain Alastair Cook confirmed that Finn would miss out in a press conference in Ahmedabad.

'Steven will not be available for tomorrow's Test', said Cook. 'It would be too big a risk.'

Sit this one out: England are unwilling to risk aggravating Steven Finn's injury

Sit this one out: England are unwilling to risk aggravating Steven Finn's injury

England are already contemplating a gamble on Stuart Broad's fitness as he has been troubled by a bruised heel.

Cook did not confirm who would replace Finn at the Sarwar Patel Stadium but seamer Tim Bresnan is the favourite to get the nod.

Fellow seamer Graham Onions and spinner Monty Panesar would be alternatives to Bresnan.

One bowler England will have available to them is Graeme Swann, with the off-spinner back in India following an emergency dash home to tend to his ill baby daughter.

Swann returned home last week after his daughter Charlotte was taken into hospital, but he has now rejoined the team ahead of the four-Test series.

In his column in the Sun, Swann wrote: 'I am now totally focused on the first Test after flying home because our little baby was unwell.

Face fits: Tim Bresnan shows off his own take on Movember

Face fits: Tim Bresnan with his own take on Movember

'Two long-haul
flights in the space of five days is not ideal preparation for the
opening match of a huge series for England – but some things are more
important than cricket.'

Although Swann missed several days of practice, the spinner insisted he feels ready to go.

'I had sleep flying back to India and any jet-lag has gone. I'm fresh
and the ball has been coming out well in practice,' he wrote.

'I am now concentrating on the Test. I love it when I know I'll have a
lot of work to do. The conditions will be hot, the pitches dry and spin
will be a big factor in the four-Test series.

'I genuinely believe we can win but we must play better against spin
than we did in the three Tests against Pakistan earlier this year.

'We need to get back to playing the same brand of smart, aggressive
cricket we did when winning The Ashes a couple of winters ago.'

Much of the focus in the build-up to the Test has surrounded Kevin
Pietersen's return to the team for the first time since he was dropped
for sending 'provocative' text messages to members of the South Africa
team.
Swann has welcomed Pietersen back to the fold and believes he can make a big difference in India.

'I hope we'll play sensible but aggressive cricket,' he said.

Ready for action: Spinner Graeme Swann

Ready for action: Spinner Graeme Swann

'Nobody can be more destructive, of course, than Kevin Pietersen and his return to the dressing room has been very smooth.

'I think that was always going to be the case after those meetings with
him in Oxford before the tour. That effectively killed off anything that
happened during the summer and it's been the normal mickey-taking and
banter with Kevin.

'In any dressing room, there are always leg-pulling comments. Although I
must be honest and say Kevin is not the butt of most of the jokes
because there are one or two players specially reserved for that!

'Now we want the cricket to do the talking. And I'm sure Kevin feels the same way.'

England captain Cook would not be drawn on his plans to replace Finn in the bowling line-up, and resented the accusation that he was picking from the also-rans.

He told Sky Sports News: 'I wouldn't call them back-up bowlers, they're all vying for a place to play in this XI, to be lucky enough to play for England.

'They've all worked hard to get used to these conditions and as selectors we've got a tough decision to make.'

Cook admitted he had not been out to check on the condition of the wicket at Ahmedabad since yesterday morning.

'Wickets change a lot in 24 hours,' he added. 'Yesterday it looked quite a dry wicket and I think it's been relaid so not much first-class cricket has been played on it.'

Tony Greig reveals lung cancer diagnosis

Former England captain Greig reveals he is suffering from lung cancer

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 20 October 2012

Former England captain Tony Greig has been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer, according to a report in Australia's Sunday Telegraph.

The paper reports that South African-born Greig will enter hospital this week for surgery to take a sample from his lung which will allow doctors to properly diagnose the extent of the cancer and decide on treatment.

'I have had a few scrapes in my life and this is another one,' Greig told the paper.

'Vivian (his wife) and I are going to put the boxing gloves on and fight this like we've never fought anything before.'

Battle: Greig (centre) has revealed he is suffering from a form of lung cancer

Battle: Greig (centre) has revealed he is suffering from a form of lung cancer

The paper reports that Greig, 66, first became aware he had a problem during Australia's one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai in August and September, on which he was commentating.

Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and, by the time of the ICC World Twenty20 that finished in Sri Lanka earlier this month, Greig had tests that revealed a small lesion at the base of his right lung.

On his return to Australia a fortnight ago, he had fluid removed from the right lung. Testing revealed he had lung cancer.

Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut for England against Australia in 1972 and scored 3,599 Test runs, including eight centuries, and took 141 wickets.

He replaced Mike Denness as England captain in the summer of 1975 and captained England from 1975-77 before defecting to be one of the spearheads of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

Skipper: Greig meets the Queen in 1975

Skipper: Greig meets the Queen in 1975

Greig has lived in Sydney since the late 1970s and has commentated on cricket for Channel Nine for 33 years, with the quartet of he, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell and Richie Benaud becoming the voices of the Australian summer.

He is unsure if he will commentate for Channel Nine during the upcoming summer, which begins with a Test against South Africa in Brisbane on November 9.

'At this stage, the summer is totally up in the air,' Greig said. 'My priority, 100 per cent, is my family. They will come first.'

Greig and his second wife Vivian have two young children – daughter Beau, 12 and son Tom, 10. He also has two children from a previous marriage – daughter Sam, 39, and son Mark, 37 and is close to his siblings – brother Ian, also a former England Test cricketer who lives in Brisbane, and sisters Sally and Molly.

Hampshire win Friends Life T20 Cup

Hampshire survive Miller heroics to see off Yorkshire and win T20 title

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 25 August 2012

Hampshire held their nerve despite a brutal late assault by Yorkshire's David Miller to claim their second Friends Life t20 title in three years at Cardiff's SWALEC Stadium.

The Royals followed up their 2010 success with a 10-run victory over a Tykes side who made a thrilling dash for the line courtesy of Miller's six-laden 72 not out.

The South African, who survived an apparent catch on seven, cleared the ropes five times and added five fours in his man-of-the-match 46-ball knock but it was the more measured approach of Hampshire that ultimately won the day.

Heave-ho: Hampshire's Sean Ervine hits out

Heave-ho: Hampshire's Sean Ervine hits out

Jimmy Adams' 43 was the best they
managed in a first-innings total of 150 for six but they secured the win
when Chris Wood kept his cool in a nailbiting last over.

With Yorkshire needing 14 and Miller rampant, the 22-year-old seamer
conceded only three runs and finished up with wickets from the last two
balls of the match to leave Yorkshire 140 for eight.

He ended with three for 26, but there must also be significant praise
for opening bowlers Dimitri Mascarenhas and Liam Dawson, whose four-over
spells cost 20 and 21 respectively.

Yorkshire's pursuit began well, captain Andrew Gale leading the way as
he and Phil Jaques picked up four boundaries in the first 15 deliveries
of the innings.

Gone: Simon Katich is run out by England's Jonny Bairstow

Gone: Simon Katich is run out by England's Jonny Bairstow

Hampshire had only managed that many by the 10-over mark but the fun was short-lived.

First Mascarenhas bowled Gale for 15 and the Hampshire skipper struck
again when he zeroed in on Joe Root's middle stump to make it 34 for
two.

That brought the Tykes' semi-final hero Jonny Bairstow to the crease,
fresh from his morning's work of 68 not out against Sussex, but he had
barely arrived when Dawson spun one in to bowl Jaques for 11.

With the floodlights now in full effect and Hampshire's fielders gradually forming a tight ring, Bairstow succumbed.

Gone: Simon Katich is run out by England's Jonny Bairstow

He had mustered just three when new bowler Danny Briggs found the edge and Michael Bates snared a sharp catch.

At the halfway mark the innings had all-but stalled at 49 for four and the required rate had raced to 10 an over.

Miller's reprieve came when TV umpire Nick Cook ruled against a catch claimed by Neil McKenzie at short-midwicket.

Replays and on-field reactions were inconclusive, but McKenzie seemed aggrieved when the decision came.

Miller cashed in handsomely, flaying Sean Ervine for three sixes in four
balls in the 12th over, each bigger than the last as he peppered the
River Taff.

Got him: Azeem Rafiq celebrates taking the wicket of Neil McKenzie

Got him: Azeem Rafiq celebrates taking the wicket of Neil McKenzie

Miller cleared the stands again off Briggs but Ervine made it 87 for five when Gary Ballance was well held by at third man.

A fifth six from Miller took him beyond 50 and England's Tim Bresnan (18) provided some enthusiastic support.

A target of 58 from five overs became 36 from three and then 21 from two
as Miller's assault continued but Wood stood firm to dismiss Richard
Pyrah and Azeem Rafiq in the closing moments to cue emphatic
celebrations.

Hampshire's innings was a steadily paced one, short of frenetic hitting but high on endeavour and hard running.

Down and out: Bairstow heads back to the pavilion

Down and out: Bairstow heads back to the pavilion

Michael Carberry and Adams put on 22 for the first wicket, former
England seamer Ryan Sidebottom breaking the stand by removing the
former's off stump.

Hampshire were 36 for one at the end of the six-over powerplay and
although James Vince was not timing the ball Adams worked hard to locate
the gaps, moving the score to 62 at the midpoint.

Adams added impetus by smearing Pyrah for six over wide long-on but was
caught by Ballance looking for a repeat off the very next ball.

McKenzie followed swiftly for four, the impressive Rafiq winning a deserved lbw decision.

Miller time: The South African brought Yorkshire to within touching distance

Miller time: The South African brought Yorkshire to within touching distance

Pyrah let some of the pressure slip as he shipped 12 off his final over, new man Ervine hoisting his fourth ball for six.

Vince finally got going with two boundaries off Moin Ashraf but the seamer took swift revenge by bowling him for 36.

Sidebottom used all his experience to halt any late charge, conceding
just 11 off his last two overs and having the dangerous Ervine caught
for 21.

Simon Katich rallied late with 25 from 21 deliveries and an apparently
middling total of 150 proved enough to bring the trophy back to the Rose
Bowl.

Steven Finn says England responded to Kevin Pietersen saga on the pitch

Proud Finn says England responded to Pietersen saga on the pitch

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UPDATED:

19:20 GMT, 16 August 2012

England cast aside the controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen to make an outstanding start to the must-win third Investec Test against South Africa at Lord's.

Steven Finn was to the fore, on his home ground, with three wickets in seven balls – and afterwards insisted the shenanigans surrounding Pietersen over the past week simply did not cross England's minds when the time came to play cricket again.

So it seemed as Finn helped to reduce South Africa to 54 for four at one stage – and even after JP Duminy (61) had underpinned a fightback to 262 for seven, England's 6ft 8in seamer was content with his and his team-mates' work.

Stunning delivery: Steven Finn bowled Hashim Amla with a beauty

Stunning delivery: Steven Finn bowled Hashim Amla with a beauty

Careful, it seemed, to avoid using the name of England's absent superstar, he said afterwards: 'Whenever we go and bowl, regardless of what's happening elsewhere, we always want to do what we do well.

'Even if what happened in the last week hadn't happened, we'd still have gone out there and had the same intentions.'

Pietersen's contract wrangles with the England and Wales Cricket Board are ongoing, and it is apparent that – after his text-message and Twitter complications too – he will not be part of the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown in Sri Lanka.

England, meanwhile, have a tough task on their hands to try to salvage their world number one Test status here.

Finn added: 'What's happened hasn't affected the way we've approached this game.

'I thought we were great as a team out there today, as 11 people out there on the pitch.'

At full pelt: Finn took three wickets for 68

At full pelt: Finn took three wickets for 68

Among his victims was Jacques Kallis, caught-behind down the leg-side – even though replays suggested the South African might have had his hand off the bat handle at the point of impact.

Finn was happy to accept whichever decision came his way, and delighted DRS ruled – somewhat controversially – in his favour.

'We were just looking at the umpire. It's out of our hands whether his hand was off the bat or not,' he said.

'I was just concentrating on, if we got him out, who was next – and how to get him out.'

Finn and James Anderson both finished with three wickets – a satisfactory day's work, according to the Middlesex seamer.

'We made use of those conditions in the morning. Bowling first, there's always a bit of pressure on you to come out and take early wickets.

'I thought we bowled beautifully in the first session. As the day went on and the ball got a bit softer, the wicket didn't do as much; it didn't have as much zip.

Contentious decision: England got lucky with Jacques Kallis's dismissal

Contentious decision: England got lucky with Jacques Kallis's dismissal

'But I thought we stuck to our guns really well. I suppose the crowd might get their expectations raised. But we just wanted to make sure we stuck in there, and we're very happy with where we are.

'We're a little bit ahead of the game… I don't think any of their batsmen have got away from us at all, and that's important.'

Duminy figured in two of three successive half-century stands, but accepted afterwards England had shaded proceedings.

'Things didn't go our way in the morning, but we are pretty happy with sessions two and three,' he said.

'England are more on top than we are, but we are happy with the fighting spirit that we showed.'

As for Kallis' dismissal, he added: 'It's one of those things we can't comment on – but we were a little disappointed. You win some, and you lose some.'

Graham Onions doubtful for England against South Africa

Onions injury scare ahead of first Test as England bowler is forced to miss nets session

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UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 18 July 2012

Cause for concern: Graham Onions

Cause for concern: Graham Onions

Graham Onions is a major doubt for England as they prepare for the first Test against South Africa after missing Wednesday morning's practice session with a hamstring strain.

Onions, included in England's 13-man squad as an extra pace bowling option, only joined his team-mates for warm-ups.

He has not yet been ruled out of contention to play at The Oval on Thursday.

The Durham bowler was an outsider to
be included as England's third seamer, in any case, with incumbent Tim
Bresnan and also Steven Finn likelier choices in most minds.

There was other business to be
settled for England on the eve of the clash, with their 30-man
preliminary ICC World Twenty20 squad set to be announced at 2pm.

The list will be notable for the
absence or otherwise of Kevin Pietersen, whose on-off limited-overs
retirement will probably depend on whether he can reach a compromise
deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board in time to play in the
World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

England v South Africa: Seven great clashes through the years

England v South Africa: Seven great clashes through the years

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UPDATED:

22:40 GMT, 17 July 2012

England and South Africa begin their three-match Investec Test series at the Kia Oval on Thursday, but will any of the forthcoming confrontations match-up to these classics

Waiting game: England face South Africa in three Tests this summer

Waiting game: England face South Africa in three Tests this summer

Johannesburg, 1905-06

South Africa's quartet of leg-break and googly bowlers – Reggie Schwarz, Aubrey Faulkner, Bert Vogler and Gordon White – spun them to their first Test win against England, captained by Plum Warner.

However, it needed an unbeaten last-wicket stand of 45 to scrape them over the line.

Durban, 1938-39

The famous – or possibly infamous – 12-day 'timeless' Test ended in a draw because England needed to get the train to Cape Town to catch their boat home.

A shame, too: set 696 to win, they had reached 654 for five, with 219 from Bill Edrich and 146 from Wally Hammond.

The Oval, 1994

England rabbit Devon Malcolm was hit on the helmet by South African seamer Fanie de Villiers and immediately declared: 'You guys are history.'

How right he was. Malcolm had South Africa hopping around as he steamed in to claim nine for 57 to set up England's series-squaring eight-wicket win.

Devon sent: Malcolm helped himself to nine wickets at The Oval in 1994

Devon sent: Malcolm helped himself to nine wickets at The Oval in 1994

Trent Bridge, 1998

Mike Atherton's glove achieved notoriety after Allan Donald cannoned the ball off it on the way through to Mark Boucher.

Umpire Steven Dunne somehow failed to notice and Atherton survived to make an unbeaten 98 and lead England to victory. Donald, now South Africa's bowling coach is still fuming.

VIDEO: Atherton v Donald – watch the sparks fly

The Oval, 2003

England were 2-1 down with one to play and looked in trouble when South Africa posted 484.

But Marcus Trescothick made 213 and Graham Thorpe 124 on his return to the Test side.

Veteran seamer Martin Bicknell then produced a masterful spell of swing bowling – and England had got out of jail once again.

Edgbaston, 2008

South Africa captain Graeme Smith produced one of the all-time great fourth-innings knocks to seal his side's first series win in England in 43 years.

Set 283 to go 2-0 up with one to play, Smith's 154 not out rescued his side from 93 for four – and prompted the tearful resignation of home skipper Michael Vaughan.

Defiant: Smith scored an unbeaten 154 at Edgbaston in 2008

Defiant: Smith scored an unbeaten 154 at Edgbaston in 2008

Centurion and Cape Town, 2010-11

Durham's Graham Onions was picked for his bowling but twice in this series he saved England with the bat, holding out for the final over at both Centurion and Cape Town to secure draws with Andrew Strauss's tourists nine wickets down.

For England, they felt more like victories.