Finn: I'll come back stronger
Steven Finn has vowed to come back a better player as he attempts to rebuild his international career following a nightmare tour of Australia.
The England bowler is preparing to return home after limited-overs coach Ashley Giles declared him "not selectable" due to technical problems with his bowling action.
It brings to an end a frustrating tour for the 24-year-old, who did not feature in any of the Ashes Tests as England surrendered the urn with a 5-0 whitewash.
He was then overlooked for the opening one-day international as England crashed to a six-wicket defeat, and Giles announced on Wednesday that he was to return to England without playing a competitive fixture.
Finn has been a key part of the England bowling attack in recent years, playing in 23 Test matches since his debut in 2010 and, while he admits his current predicament is a new experience for him in his career, he is confident that it can make him a better player in the long run.
"I feel as though I can come out of the other side of this as a better bowler and appreciate the game far, far more on the other side of it," he told ecb.co.uk.
"I'm not sure I'll take a Test wicket or an ODI or T20 wicket for granted ever again.
"It's a tough time for me but I'm very positive and confident I can come out of the other side of it."
Finn has taken 90 Test wickets since he burst onto the scene against Bangladesh nearly four years ago but played only one Test last summer and has been criticised in some circles for being too expensive.
The Middlesex seamer insists his form in the nets this winter has not been as bad as some in the media have been suggesting but admits a break from the England spotlight is likely to do him good.
"I've worked very hard on this tour," he said. "I've put lots and lots of hours of work in to try to make my bowling action right and I arrived on the tour very confident that I could play a full part in the Ashes series.
"As the series went on and as we moved into the one-day leg of the tour, it's clear that there are a couple of technical issues that I need to address.
"And going home and working on these aspects of my game would be the best place for me to do it, to get away from cricket for a couple of weeks because, at times, it's felt like I've been banging my head against a brick wall, trying to make it right and trying to prepare to play.
"To take myself out of this environment, a competitive environment, to get myself back to Middlesex and work with people that I've worked with for a long time before, I'm really looking forward to it."
He added: "There's times on this trip where it's felt like it's so close to clicking, even as recently as a couple of days ago bowling in the nets before the Prime Minister's XI game, I bowled nicely.
"I bowled with decent pace, I bowled quite consistently but it's the infrequency with which that's happened that's probably a little bit of the reason for me going home.
"It's close to clicking and it's not far away and I actually don't think it's going to take too much to get me back to where I want to be.
"I do love the game but at times it's been hard to love it, and that's a contributory factor."
Following the Australia tour, England travel to the West Indies in February for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games before the World Cup in the shortest format takes place in Bangladesh in March.
And while Finn admits that he is unlikely to be ready for those trips, he is eyeing a return to the international scene against Sri Lanka in May.
"As far as the West Indies trip and the Twenty20 World Cup goes, it's going to be difficult for me to put my hand up for selection for those as there is going to be no cricket outdoors for me before that point," he said.
"That might be slightly unrealistic for me. I'm not letting go of the hope that everything might click once I get back to England after a couple of weeks, but it will be difficult for me to push my claim for that tour.
"The focus for me is getting back for Middlesex, really enjoying pre-season with Middlesex, playing some early-season cricket there at Lord's and around the country playing for Middlesex and then try and put my hand up for those first one-dayers against Sri Lanka."
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