Ashes 2017/18: Tom Curran announced as replacement for injured Steven Finn
What's the story?
Surrey fast bowler Tom Curran has been named as Steven Finn's replacement for England in their Ashes squad. Finn will fly back to England after he tore the cartilage in his left knee. The 22-year-old Curran is yet to play a Test but has already represented England in both ODIs and T20Is.
His inclusion in the Ashes squad also means that his participation in the Big Bash League, where he was signed by Hobart Hurricanes, will have cut short. He will fly to Australia on Wednesday and has been preferred ahead of the experienced Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood.
In case you didn't know...
Steve Finn was initially announced as a replacement for Ben Stokes in England's Ashes squad after the all-rounder was arrested following a brawl outside a Bristol night club. The 28-year-old fast bowler, who was part of England's last two Ashes squads to Australia, missed the opening tour match in Perth and was earlier ruled out of the rest of Ashes after scans confirmed the seriousness of the injury he sustained in practice.
The heart of the matter
The 22-year-old Surrey fast bowler made his ODI and T20I debut earlier this year. In his 51 first-class matches, he has picked up 171 wickets. Aside from his skills with the ball, he has also proven himself to be a more than useful batsman lower down the order and he has five fifties and averages almost 20 with the bat.
With Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Chris Woakes being the first three seamers, Curran will compete with Craig Overton and Jake Ball for the fourth seamer spot.
The Ashes series begins on November 23 with the first taking place at the Gabba. While England have announced their squad and are in Australia, preparing, the hosts are yet to name their squad.
The loss of Ben Stokes was a major loss for England and while the inclusion of Steven Finn was surprising, England will miss his experience. However, the fact that he was only going to be the fourth seamer means that his absence won't be a major problem. Curran has proven himself as a consistent performer in county cricket and impressed in the few internationals that he has played as well.
His inclusion ahead of Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett, while surprising, also indicates that England are keen to try out fresh players and plan ahead.