Finn: I could do a job for England

Steven Finn insists he is ready to serve England well should they need him after all as they try to salvage some pride from the final two Ashes Tests.

Finn has been surplus to requirements, even as England were losing the urn before Christmas in three landslide defeats.

The 24-year-old fast bowler has been reduced to Ashes-bystander status, unable to force his way into the reckoning past others who have also struggled against Australia in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The consensus is that he is still short of his best, having not been picked for a Test since last summer's Ashes opener in Nottingham.

There, he bowled only 10 of 120 overs in the second innings as Australia came within a whisker of a remarkable run chase before losing by 14 runs.

Tim Bresnan subsequently got the nod in England's 3-0 victory, and it was the Yorkshireman who was chosen again as third seamer at the WACA last week following his recovery from injury.

Finn's part in England's campaign Down Under has been restricted to three tour-match performances, none enough to quell doubts over his readiness to return to Test cricket.

He has endured a disappointing and frustrating blip in his career, spending hours in the nets trying to iron out adjustments to his method since he succumbed to the habit of knocking over the non-striker's stumps in delivery stride.

Finn concedes he still has work to do, but said: "If I was picked for a Test, I wouldn't let anyone down with my effort or with my attempt to do a job.

"I feel as if I could do a job for the team if I was selected for a Test tomorrow."

He is also at pains to stress that he has not given himself an easy time of it, once it became apparent he was unlikely to be playing at the start of this winter's Ashes.

Finn and fellow tall fast bowlers Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin were sent on this tour apparently to jostle for one available place to support new-ball pair Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

They have mustered just one Test between them, though, when Tremlett was chosen for the opener at the Gabba - and on the bounciest pitch in the world last week, England instead preferred Bresnan.

Finn remains optimistic nonetheless.

"It's been my determination for the last two months (to get into the Test side)," he added.

"I haven't come here thinking I'm on holiday - that I don't want to play a part in the Test series.

"That would just be stupid, and I'd never do that.

"I've gone into the preparation for every Test and every warm-up game with the intention of performing as well as I possibly can, but sometimes it happens in sport that you don't perform at your optimum level all the time.

"I haven't done so far on this trip, but I'm working hard to turn it around."

Finn has had to sift well-meaning, and expert, advice from several quarters - England bowling coach David Saker and, back at Middlesex, former Test seamer Angus Fraser prominent among them - as he tries to rediscover the form which has helped him take 90 wickets in 23 Tests.

He does not believe all his difficulties stem from a need to stop knocking over the stumps - an idiosyncrasy which became a vexed issue after an International Cricket Council ruling that no-ball, and therefore potential loss of a hard-earned wicket, be called.

Finn, speaking at an event for Jaguar, added: "Obviously it wasn't ideal that I was knocking over the stumps, but I was bowling quickly at the time and I was bowling accurately in one-day and Test cricket.

"I don't think that's where the problems started.

"My body has developed over the last 12 to 18 months, and maybe I've grooved bad habits at times.

"But I'm working towards eradicating those."

It is proving a long process.

Finn added: "It's not through a lack of trying; it's not through lack of effort, and it's not through lack of direction.

"I know which direction I want to go and I am going in the right direction - it's just taking a little longer than I want it to.

"I know what I'm working towards. I know what I want to do and how I want to go about it - it's just a question of doing that."

He blames himself, not others, for the problems he has encountered, saying: "There is a chance potentially that I've over-complicated things in the last 12 months.

"One of the advantages of modern cricket structures is that you have lots of people who are able to give you good information and valid points - and as a player, you are able to filter those points and do as I see fit with them.

"I'm very grateful for all the advice I get.

"Maybe I haven't filtered the information as well as I possibly could have done, but it feels as if I'm in a better position to do so now than I have been before."

< Back
Reddit Facebook Digg Del.icio.us Twitter Bebo

Latest News

Latest Sport

Today's Features