Finn in the frame for first Test in Durban

England

England could well select fast bowler Steve Finn for the first Test against South Africa on Boxing Day, as he's proven his fitness, says bowling coach Ottis Gibson.

Finn was a late call up to the squad after recovering from a foot injury he picked up ahead of the Tests against Pakistan in the UAE. He was forced to leave that tour.

But Finn could miss out if the selectors want to give senior bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad match practice in the second tour match, after the first was washed out a day early.

Gibson said of Finn: "The understanding is that once he has made it here he is added to the squad and therefore if he proves in the next couple of days that he is ready, my understanding is that everybody is available for selection.

"He has been excellent. He has obviously done a lot of work in the UAE (with England Lions) and the guys over there who looked after him did a great job getting him up to speed.

"He hasn't played a game but given the facilities here he has done a lot of good stuff in the nets and put himself right in the frame."

Gibson added that Anderson did not need a tour match to rpove his worth, so Finn could well get a chance to impress before the Test XI is revealed.

The West Indian added: "The stage he is at in his career you treat him slightly different to someone who's just coming in. 

"He's a very experienced senior pro and he knows exactly what he needs to get himself ready for a Test match nowadays."

If Finn is picked, it seems Mark Footitt would miss out, after he was a bit 'all over the place' in the first tour match. But Gibson said the inexperienced bowler just needed to play his normal game and not worry about the occassion.

He added: "There were obviously nerves and everything with it being his first bowl for England but he got a wicket and then settled down.

"It's his bowling for Derby over the last couple of years that has got him here and my message to him is to do exactly what he's been doing for them. There's no point him trying to be someone else when he gets here.

"He's impressed the selectors – that's why he got picked – so the best thing he can do now is relax in this environment because that's the way for him to produce his best."

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