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'I will come back stronger' - Finn

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 16, 2014

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Steven Finn has insisted that the collapse in his bowling form has been exaggerated and that after leaving England's tour of Australia prematurely he is confident he can quickly make the technical adjustments necessary to return to the international side next summer.

Finn did not play in a single Test during England's 5-0 whitewash but pronounced himself "knackered" by his perpetual attempts to sort out his malfunctioning bowling action in the nets. Giving his only interview to ecb.co.uk - English cricket's in-house website - he said he had felt his action was "close to clicking on numerous occasions and dismissed some media coverage as "uninformed".

"I have worked very hard on this tour," Finn said in an interview also freely available on the ECB's YouTube site. "I have put lots and lots of hours in to try to make my bowling action right. I arrived on the tour very confident 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 is clear that there are a couple of technical issues I need to address.

"At times it has felt like I have been banging my head against a brick wall, trying to make it right and trying to be prepared to play and take myself out of this environment, a competitive environment, and work with people what I've worked with before, I'm really looking forward to it.

"We will address what needs addressing, make a plan and stick to that religiously. There have been times on this trip when it has felt so close to clicking. 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 has happened which has probably led to me going home.

"It's close to clicking and it's not going to take too much to get me back where I want to be."

Finn echoed the belief of Angus Fraser, director of cricket at Middlesex and a long-time confidant, that he needed to fall in love with the game again.

"I'd love to stay out here and put myself up for selection... It's got to a point on the tour where I suppose the constant setbacks I've had in the nets it's going to be good for me to get away and clear my head for a couple of weeks and, as Angus said, just fall in the love with the game again. I do love the game but at times it's been hard to love it because I've been fighting myself so much.

Hands up who wants to play some one-day cricket? Steven Finn takes part in a stretching exercise, Melbourne, January 11, 2014
Steve Finn says it will not be too long before he is putting his hand up for selection again © Getty Images
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"It's tough for me to leave the tour, I'm upset I'm leaving the tour because I want to be helping England win games of cricket... but I do feel that it's best if I go home now."

Finn accepts that he has minimal chance of being included in England's World Twenty plans in Bangladesh as he will have no matches to prove that his troubles are behind him. His target is England's one-day series against Sri Lanka in mid-May.

"As far as the West Indies tour goes, it;s going to be difficult to put up my hand for selection... the focus for me is getting back for Middlesex and playing some early season cricket and try to put my hand up for those one-dayers in mid-May."

He did not give an interview to the media to give an honest appraisal of the situation he was in, but still attacked some of the coverage as "uninformed".

"I am nowhere near as far away as some people have been suggesting in the press," he said. "It is quite an uninformed view from people who haven't seen me bowl much. I have been doing a lot of bowling away from people's eyes. I feel it is not far away from clicking but I have had two-and-a-half months feeling like that.

"In terms of the technical things, they are not massive things. I've aligned my run-ups - my run-ups are nice straight line to the crease now - I did a lot of work on that last summer - and it's just about getting the timing of my arms and legs working at the same time. Sometimes a little thing can throw you out on either of those things but once my arms and my legs start working together again I feel I can come out of this a better bowler.

"I am not sure I will take a Test wicket or an ODI or T20 wicket for granted ever again.

"When you are busting a gut every time you step into the nets, sometimes it can be a case of trying too hard. I am knackered come the end of this tour now because I have spent so many hours in the nets trying to put things right.

"It's not massive things. I've not forgotten how to bowl."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Roshan_P on (January 19, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

He's probably the most talented young bowler for England. The fastest to 50 wickets for England - that's got to mean something. But it's something about the management in the England team that is really quite toxic - look at Trott, and the entire team for that matter. He needs to take some time out, find some peace away from the ECB, maybe focus back on county cricket. All he needs to do now is rest, declutter his mind and get back to bowling. I think county cricket should really do him good. In the mean time Onions should be a fantastic choice for third seamer - assuming the selection committee are intelligent enough to select him, which could be doubtful He will defintely come back faster, stronger and better.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 19, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

Mitchell, Junaid, Dale and Steven would walk into any ODI XI as fast bowlers. It's pathetic how he's struggling to walk into a struggling XI when he's in the top 5 best odi Pacers in the world currently. Absolutely pathetic. He is a meant to be a guaranteed spot for England....

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

This is an interesting situation because it seems anything could happen - it feels like Finn could come back better than ever and be the next Morne Morkel, leading the English pace attack for many years. Or he could end up as some medium-paced county dobber along the lines of Jon Lewis. Or give up cricket because he's tired of conflicting advise and banging his head against brick walls. Which makes it a sad situation because the 2nd or 3rd options would not do a talented cricketer justice.

Posted by Waddle on (January 17, 2014, 22:59 GMT)

'He did not give an interview to the media to give an honest appraisal of the situation he was in' .. .. .. Why do the media always have a little spoilt paddy when information emerges via a different route ? .. .. It all sounds pretty honest to me .. .. This was petty and trite journalism.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 17, 2014, 15:50 GMT)

Another good bowler ruined by the ECB "think tank."

Posted by Matt.au on (January 17, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

@Zenek Szulc Fair enough, I'm Australian so haven't seen him bowl as much as those from his home country.

If you are correct, I don't know why anyone tinkered with him in the first place (he included if it was self indulged) as anytime I'd seen him bowl, prior to his last few tests and ODI's, I thought he was top class.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 17, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

If onions had played he would be been sliced through the covers - he was not the answer in the last series

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 17, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

Forget about coming back STRONGER - focus on coming back BETTER

You will not do the English team much good by turning yourself into a strong bowler who still serves up pies to hungry batsmen

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

@Matt.au the problem is the 'hitting the stumps' problem was as a result of tinkering in the first place. When he 1st came onto the scene i don't recall it ever happening. He did have another problem though; he'd bowl himself literally off his feet. To counter that, and to try and get him coming closer to th stumps, he changed his action slightly and thats when the clipping the stumps problem occured.

What i don't get - and I'm hoping somebody with coachign experience can explain - s why the solution wasn't just "hit the crease half a foot wider"?

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