England v Bangladesh, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day May 28, 2010

Finn the stand out for lacklustre England

On an otherwise lacklustre day from England's bowlers, one man stood out from the crowd - and not merely because he's the lankiest player on show. Steven Finn's Test debut came in bewildering circumstances in Chittagong back in March, only days after arriving in Bangladesh as injury cover. But the promise he displayed then was on show once again today, as he returned steady figures of 1 for 39 in 12 overs, in the vastly more familiar surroundings of his home ground, Lord's.

Using his height well on a slow surface, Finn was the closest that England's attack came to finding a cutting edge on an attritional day, and after Tamim Iqbal was run out for 55, he claimed the only other Bangladeshi wicket to fall, that of Imrul Kayes for 43, who gloved a lifter to Andrew Strauss in the slips.

"It was a fantastic feeling to get my first [Test] wicket at Lord's in front of that crowd, and the atmosphere," said Finn. "Initially, I wasn't sure whether he had gloved it or it came off his forearm or what, but I was excited to see it go through like that. It was relatively hard work, because the wicket's a little bit slow, but there's a bit of bounce from the Pavilion End, and we hope we can exploit that tomorrow."

After grafting his way through the lifeless decks of Chittagong and Dhaka, Finn was happy to play on a surface offering even a fraction of assistance, and remained upbeat about England's hopes of forcing the pace against a dogged Bangladeshi line-up.

"It wasn't that bad as Chittagong," he said. "I'm still having nightmares about that. A little bit more sun on it, and potentially the roller tomorrow, I think it could change. There's been a bit of variable bounce and that could be a big thing for us and work to our advantage tomorrow.

"At the moment it looks like a battle of attrition, us again trying to limit their boundary options and being clever with field-setting and able to attack at the right time. But you can see one going up, one going down. We're still 300 odd runs ahead, so if we can get a couple of quick wickets that's going to be in the back of their minds that they could potentially be following on within a session."

The start to the Bangladeshi innings had a recurring theme, with Tamim Iqbal blazing a 62-ball 55 before being run out by a direct hit. It was his fourth half-century in five Test innings against England, but having seen his hurricane style blow out on previous occasions, Finn was confident that the bowlers would be able to regain control as the match develops.

"Obviously, Tamim Iqbal is going to come out and play his way. But if we can 'dot him up' second innings, when he's faced two or three on the trot, he'll play a silly shot - try to slash one that's too straight through point. We did go for a few runs today but we bowled to our plans and stuck to our guns.

"We saw them bat like that in Chittagong and Dhaka earlier in the year," he added. "They're a developing team who are getting better game-by-game. They have players who are dangerous, and it's important we don't take them lightly, treat them with respect and have to be able to build dots against them."

"We're not just going to be able to blast them away; we have to build pressure, which will in turn get us wickets. The important thing is to use the new ball, because we know the Bangladeshis will struggle against the moving ball."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

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  • whoster on May 29, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    I'm impressed with Finn's maturity for a young man. He's very clear minded and focussed, and understands the game well. I think he's got a big future, and he's the type of bowler England desperately need.

    Even though his first three Tests have come on pretty slow and unresponsive tracks, he sticks to his game and isn't easily flustered.

  • dummy4fb on May 29, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    It isn't a mental reason why bowlers don't make good captains (well mostly - there have been some very good bowling captains..Imran?) it's that, especially when bowling themselves, it is hard to keep an eye on the game. Captaining is really a job when your team is in the field, and when in the field bowlers have other things on their mind. The tradition of batsman captains is not a good one though. It goes back to the time of "gentlemen" and "players". So I'm all for a few bowling captains - but they need to be able juggle a little bit more than "batsman captains" due to the larger role they are expected to play in the field. Next England captain will be Cooke. No argument. And as he is still young. I doubt any of the other England players will ever get a real look in (except maybe as injury cover)

  • ChrisO_SL on May 29, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    I don't give much credence to the theory that Batsmen make better captains than Bowlers. You need a player with a good cricketing brain who has strong leadership qualities and command's the respect of his team. He should also be an automatic selection in the XI for his playing skills. It does not matter if his primary skills are as a batsman or bowler. Alan Border, Mark Taylor, Imran Khan, Arjuna Ranatunga, Saurav Gangully,are all men who are mentally tough, master tacticians and have a commanding presence on the field.They would have captained the team even if they were bowlers. Shane Warne is the one that got away,and in my opinion would have been a brilliant captain. Morgan is definitely a prospect but will have to perform consistently and hold his place in the team in 4-5 years time when Strauss/Pieterson et al hang up their boots.

  • gloves71 on May 29, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    Bowlers don't make good captains - Morgan will be a future captain.

  • dummy4fb on May 29, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    He is really a gud prospect for england alongside andersonnd broad nd it seems dey r going to bcum a lethal pace attact in years to come. people hv already started him comparing to macgrath bt i feel its bit early,nd not gud for finn as wel coz it gives him burden of expectations. let him settle down in internation arena nd i hope he wil shine llike a star.

  • ChrisO_SL on May 29, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Reading Finns comments and how he has analysed the game thus far gives me the impression that he is a young player who is intelligent and solid. England have a future captain in him, if he can stay fit and perform consistently.

  • dummy4fb on May 29, 2010, 0:28 GMT

    Finn will be an asset for England in future............He is a gentle guy........ I pray to Allah for his good future............. and obviously i would pray for another good day for Bangladesh.... probably day 3 is the most important day.........

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