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South Africa in England 2012

Time for Finn - Boycott

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 24, 2012

Comments: 113 | Text size: A | A

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."


Comments: 113 
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Posted by Nicholas on (July 27, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

We need a hero... we're holding on for a hero for the second test... he's got to be strong and he's got to be tall, and he's got to bowl to the end of the night... Oh man that was painful! Errr, good luck England.

Posted by Jeremy on (July 27, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Meety, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding pace vs, movement (seam or bounce), especially with all of the protective gear batsmen have nowadays - batsmen with ordinary defensive techniques have gotten by on the largely flat tracks of the 2000's, but look at some of the innings recently in tests - mainly due to greener/livelier pitches and a bit of life in the wicket - good to see. Lee did start to bowl within himself for a period there, shortened his runup, it was the next home series after McGrath & warne retired, but succumbed to injury thereafter, and we never seen him bowl with that consistency & ease again. He was busted going into the last Ashes series at home, and Punter & selectors wrongly expected far too much of him. Hope we manage the current fast-bowling stocks better - potential world beaters, but they can't do that nursing a niggle in the dressing room.

Posted by Andrew on (July 27, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

@ jb633 - I've never been a fan of Broad (tough gig to convince me to be), but don't fall into the trap of worrying about pace. Your mob gave us a touch up in the Ashes & none of your bowlers were as fast as our slowest pacers, (back then Finn was barely 135kph - about Hilfenhaas). In the modern game where scoreboard pressure is so intense (either the other teams score or the need to tick the scoring over), it doesn't matter how fast you are as long as you can have lateral movement or outsmart the batsmen. I admit to being pro-pace, but the Ashes were an eye opener. One of our best domestic performers (& a bloke who should get more of a chance), Copeland barely gets above 125 kph - & his stats are fantastic. I am a Tremlett fan, & he is barely medium pace. Lack of pace doesn't seem to affect Anderson either! I often think that if Brett Lee learnt the art of "strategic" pace (meaning peeling it back a bit & trying cutters or containment), he'd of been a much better Test bowler.

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 27, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

This same guy, GB, had, prior to ist test, said that Tahir would be handled easily by a 70 years old. Given this, there must be a number of players well over 70 in the current England side! I don't take GB seriously in the same way I had not taken his batting seriously! For a laugh at GB, I always go to to Michael Holding's 'wonder' over to GB. With due respect to Holding, the over was a 'wonder' only because GB was the batsman facing! Fynn or no Fynn, England needs to play and stop talking how a good game should be played.

Posted by Adam on (July 27, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

@JG2704. yes I did mate, may bad......I realised my mistake after I posted. What is it with all you JB's and JG's around here??? Don't take much to confuse me and all of you certainly do!! @ jb633 (for who I think my initial post was intended) Like you I don't know what was going on with Broads pace @ the Oval but I can't say I recall it being down majorly against the Windies. At this stage I'm just putting it down to one bad test, bit early to be panicking about him at this stage.

Posted by Jon on (July 26, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

@JG207, Yeah that's what I have been saying. But realistically, you and I both know that this is not going to happen.

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 26, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

I cant believe Finn isnt playing in the side yet, by now he would have been given a run in every international side in the world, including South Africa's. Indeed when he has played for England he has always taken wickets, his record is still good for a young fast bowler, he surely will only get better by playing more? If memory serves he was dropped in the ashes series for Bresnan when he was the leading wicket taker in the series for the reason that he was too expensive. Bresnan has been brilliant but I am sure he doesnt bring enough to the table to justify keeping Finn out. He should count himself unlucky to be dropped but he should be for the good of the side. Finn is potentially Englands best fast bowler in at least the last 20 years and I'm certain that injuries permitting he will prove it. The first time I saw him I was convinced he was Englands version of Glenn McGrath, he needs to be given a chance to prove it. I love Bressy but Finn has to play.....

Posted by John on (July 26, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

@jb633 on (July 26 2012, 11:42 AM GMT) Why can't Finn or Onions come in for Bopara and add to our bowling unit?

Posted by John on (July 26, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

@pommyadders on (July 26 2012, 06:53 AM GMT) Think you have the wrong guy here - I'm sticking up for Broad

Posted by rahul dravid on (July 26, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

@JG2704 thnx fr ur comments ma...appreciations ...

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