England suffer blow with Finn and Wood set to miss South Africa tour
It looks to be a boring winter for England's two pace bowlers (photo: www.mirror.co.uk)

Steven Finn and Mark Wood both look set to be missing from the squad when England selector James Whittaker names his 16 man squad to face South Africa on Thursday. England have decided that it's not worth risking the two quicks as it's believed they won't be fully fit until after the New Year.

There is some good injury related news for England though. Powerful all-rounder Ben Stokes looks set to be passed fit in time for the South Africa series and is likely to be picked.

Possible Replacements

It is believed that Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt, currently uncapped, are the favourites to fill the fourth seamer spot in the line up.

Woakes is arguably the front-runner to replace Finn and Wood due to his One Day International form. The Warwickshire all-rounder had previously bowled 50 overs without taking a wicket, however he is now currently on a run of back to back four wicket hauls. When talking to the Mirror however he was quick to play down his Test chances. He told the Mirror that playing Test cricket again would be "fantastic" but went on to say that he is "trying to focus on this tour" before adding that he believes England are in a "great position" to win the Pakistan ODI series.

Chris Woakes could follow up his resurgent ODI form with a recall to the Test side. (photo: reuters)
Chris Woakes could follow up his resurgent ODI form with a recall to the Test side. (photo: reuters)

Left arm pace bowler Footitt also looks set to be in line for a call up. The Surrey quick is widely considered to be the quickest bowler in the County Championship. He took 76 wickets for Derbyshire at an average of 23.63 last season, before he joined Surrey. His performances led to a call up to England's Performance squad training camp in South Africa this month.

Liam Plunkett could also be in with a shout of being included in the team. The Yorkshire paceman could be selected. The former Durham man has been around the England set up for a while now, yet has never quite managed to secure a long-term place in the squad.

Predicted 16 Man Squad

Alastair Cook (captain), Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Joe Root, James Taylor, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Footitt, Chris Jordan.

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