England news March 20, 2014

Finn makes Middlesex return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Steven Finn had his first bowl in a match situation since the end of November as he began to plot his way back towards the international scene after becoming, what Ashley Giles termed, "not selectable" during the Ashes tour.

He took 1 for 25 from 11 overs against Surrey in a two-day friendly at Merchant Taylors' School, significantly without sending down a single no-ball or wide during his spells. His wicket came after lunch when he had Zafar Ansari caught behind for a duck.

Finn flew home before the end of the Ashes tour after it was decided that it was not in his best interests to remain around the England squad with no chance of being selected for the one-day or Twenty20 series.

The decision made between Finn, the ECB and Middlesex, whose director of cricket Angus Fraser is now an England selector, was that he needed a complete break from the game and he was not considered for the World T20.

The last time he bowled in a match was against a Chairman's XI in Alice Springs when he took none for 61. He had lost his Test place last year after the opening match against Australia, at Trent Bridge, although was part of the one-day side at the end of the season.

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  • Ben on March 24, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    Best thing for Finn is to keep him out of the wham bam pyjama cricket. Going for 16 runs an over is no good for a bowler's confidence. He needs a good season in the County Championship and hopefully he'll return as a real force for the test matches. Good luck to him.

  • Tony on March 22, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    I am glad to learn Steve has come through his first return game so well. Although it is an early point in his recovery, he is without doubt England's main bowling hope in the near future.

    With the slightly under-appreciated Graeme Swann now retired, we need someone in the attack capable of taking four plus wickets per game and Finn looks the best bet for that. Statistically, we have to have someone fitting that bill to rise up above the average. Certainly, Steve's extra pace will also be an added bonus to the current attack, where Tim Bresnan really only offers steady support.

  • Damo on March 21, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    Finn is with a doubt a world class act but has completely lost fom. Hopefully he will be nutured back to his best and become the spearhead of our attack once again. Until then I wish him all the best.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    @ goldeneraaus. I sort of agree here. But this time last year the Aussies were a joke. A manager/coach that was not trusted, a player sent home for not doing homework (then returning to captain a test???). Another fighting in the bar. Vice captain and captain openly saying they respected each others playing abilities but didn't like each other... and that's all before they lost the Ashes 3-0 in July/August (barely 6 months ago). In the Aussies case replacing one key member changed them around. The coach. I think in the medium and long term, getting rid of KP will have the same effect on England. He was the rotten apple. The fallout is still going on, but the cause has gone. If only they could get rid Giles Clarke as well, English cricket would be on the up.

  • siddhartha on March 21, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I am still surprised at the omission of Finn in this limited over fixtures. He is easily England's best in ODI and t20s

  • John on March 21, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    All the best to Steve Finn. Looking at early footage of him compared with more recent games, it's fairly clear how the problem arose. He used to land in his delivery stride with his back (right) foot pointing straight down the wicket. Either he or a coach thought he'd get more zip if his back foot was square (I'm not saying that's wrong; other bowlers have been successful making that change). However, in Finn's case it led to his right leg collapsing outwards, costing him forward momentum and, incidentally, causing him to hit the wicket with his knee.

    I don't know if he's reversed that change or managed to make the square foot landing work, but if it's not one or the other he'll still be in trouble.

    @goldeneraaus: I'd hold off on saying fragile the England system is. They've won 4 out of the last 6 Ashes, dating back to 2005. Before MJ had a burst of form, Aus had lost 7 and drawn 2 of their previous 9 tests. That doesn't say a lot for the Aussie system, does it?

  • Shafkatullah on March 21, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    Drop anderson take chance to finn

  • manu on March 21, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    I hope he will come back strong soon, such a fine bowler who plays the game in right spirit unlike others..so i wish him all the best

  • arnab on March 21, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Wish the young fella well, but this is just another reminder of the failure of the english back room and support staff and the general cracks within the whole set up which were so brutally exposed during the Ashes.. When you add up the casualty list it really does show how far from reality England were despite their relative success, all it took was a few losses for it to all come crumbling down.

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