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July 24, 2012
Geoffrey Boycott believes it is time for Steven Finn to be given a run in the England team even though that could mean fellow Yorkshireman, Tim Bresnan, missing out on playing on his home ground in the second Test against South Africa at Headingley.
England's bowling attack flopped in their innings-and-12-run defeat to South Africa at The Oval, as the visitors piled up 637 for 2, and Boycott told ESPNcricinfo he feels changes need to be made.
After making his debut in 2010 against Bangladesh, Finn played 11 consecutive Tests before being dropped for Bresnan in Melbourne. Boycott believes it is now time to reverse that selection and for Finn to be given another run of games.
"Finn will be in the squad for Headingley and he deserves to have a run in the side," Boycott said. "He's been carrying the drinks for far too long. He's been playing well for his county and we need to find out if he can play well at Test level."
Finn has been in contention for selection in every Test since being left out for the fourth Ashes Test but has only played three more times - once in series home and away against Sri Lanka, and against West Indies at Edgbaston when James Anderson and Stuart Broad were rested.
Finn has been in fine form for Middlesex this season, taking 22 first-class wickets at 20.04 and was also a key part of England's ODI attack that beat Australia 4-0; Finn claimed eight wickets at 19.37.
Bresnan's place in the side has been much debated with his batting ability seen as the justification for his selection. He averages 39.00 from his 15 Tests and scored a best of 91 against India last year. With the ball he has claimed 56 wickets at 28.12 and took eight wickets at Trent Bridge against West Indies in May. Despite his record, and the fact that until The Oval defeat, England had won all but one of the Tests Bresnan had played in, Boycott feels Finn deserves a run in the side.
"You have to find out if he can play well at Test level and you don't get that by dropping somebody after one or two Tests," Boycott said. "Eoin Morgan got a good chance and now Finn has to have a proper chance."
Through the same reasoning, Boycott feels Ravi Bopara is the man to occupy England's other debated position - the No. 6 slot. Bopara was in line for a recall against Sri Lanka in April and West Indies in May but injuries on both occasions meant he was left out. He finally returned to the Test XI at The Oval but made 0 and 22, being dismissed with poor strokes in both innings.
"Bopara is the right man to play," Boycott said. "Whether he's good enough is a different matter, but he has to have a proper go."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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