England to axe its top wicket-taker

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Published: Monday, December 20, 2010, 13:21 [IST]
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England to axe its top wicket-taker

London, Dec 20: Pacer Steve Finn is all set to be dropped from the England team after the third Test humiliation at the hands of Australia. Andrew Strauss' side was beaten by 267 runs as Australia levelled the Ashes series 1-1.

Finn is England's top wicket-taker with 14 scalps in three Tests so far, but conceded more than five runs an over in Perth. His average in the thus far has been not been particularly impressive at 33.14.

"I wouldn't rule out anything at this stage - but now is not the time to panic. It's all about bouncing back," The Sun quoted Strauss, as saying.

Tim Bresnan is a favourite to get the nod over Ajmal Shahzad to replace Finn, 21, for the Boxing Day clash in Melbourne. Bresnan debuted in England's match against the West Indies in May, 2009 and has taken 14 wickets in 5 matches so far at an average of 35.14. But he has greatly impressed in first-class cricket, notching up 257 scalps from 98 matches at an average of 32.46.

Paul Collingwood is likely to keep his place despite scoring just 62 runs in four Test innings. Collingwood's value as a fifth bowler and brilliant fielder will help keep him in, although he could drop below Ian Bell to No 6 in the batting order.


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