Curran to replace Finn in England's Ashes squad even as tourists not sweating on Moeen fitness

Fast bowler Finn missed opening tour match in Perth because of knee injury and will also play no part in this week's day-night match against Cricket Australia XI at Adelaide Oval

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 31:  Steven Finn of England warms up during an England training session at the WACA on October 31, 2017 in Perth, Australia. England are in Perth ahead of their opening tour match.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
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Surrey seamer Tom Curran was added to England's Ashes squad on Tuesday after Steven Finn was ruled out of the tour of Australia with a knee injury.

Finn, himself a late replacement for the absent Ben Stokes, has been diagnosed with a torn cartilage in his left knee and will head back to England for a possible operation.

Curran, 22, was next in line and the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced he will fly to Australia on Wednesday.

A son of the late Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin Curran, Tom has played a single one-day international and three Twenty20 internationals but is yet to make his Test debut.

He took 24 wickets at 34.66 for Surrey in the First Division of the County Championship last season, while averaging a useful 27.44 with the bat.

His selection has seen Curran chosen ahead of two more experienced pace bowlers in Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood.


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Finn only made the current tour when he was added to the squad in place of the suspended Stokes, whose involvement remains in the balance as the ECB conduct an internal disciplinary inquiry and await the outcome of a police probe into his involvement in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25.

Tuesday's announcement ended another miserable tour of Australia for Finn, who suffered his injury when, after batting in the nets in Perth ahead of the first warm-up match, he hit himself while batting in the nets.

The Middlesex quick was dropped midway through England's victorious Ashes campaign of 2010/11 and left the previous 2013/14 trip under a cloud when then limited-overs coach Ashley Giles declared him "un-selectable".

"When you're a late call-up to the squad and have been out of selection for the past six months or so, you definitely do have a point to prove," Finn said last week before the injury.

England coach Trevor Bayliss said in Adelaide on Tuesday: "He [Finn] had an injection a couple of days ago which they thought would help."

But the ECB statement confirming Finn was out of the tour said he would "return to the UK in the next 48 hours where he will meet a knee specialist to ascertain whether he will have an operation".

The first Test between England and Australia starts at Brisbane on November 23.

Anderson on the Ballon d'Ashes

All-rounder Moeen Ali, who has a side strain, will miss this week's day-night match against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval but Bayliss said he was on track to be available for a return to action in the tour match in Townsville starting November 15.

"Mo Ali ... more precautionary now, we will just leave him out of this one and make sure he's right."

Bayliss also responded to reports in the Australian media on Tuesday that said Stokes would soon face a England and Wales Cricket Board disciplinary hearing and could join the squad in time for the third test.

"I haven't spoken [to anyone] or heard of anything since we have been here," Bayliss said.

"If we concentrate on that, and wondering if he is coming or not, that might take the focus off what we're trying to achieve so we have just been going about preparing with the players we have got here.

"If he happens to turn up at some stage, it's a bonus. If he doesn't, bad luck, we will just get on with what we have got."