England in India 2012-13

England confident on Finn fitness

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 10, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Steven Finn struck to remove Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka v England, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Pallekele, October, 1, 2012
Steven Finn has emerged as one of the brightest young bowlers in world cricket and hopes to play in the first Test © Getty Images

Steven Finn, the England fast bowler, is expected to be available for the first Test against India and he has said he is looking to put pressure on Stuart Broad and James Anderson for the new ball.

Finn limped out of England's opening tour match after just four overs with a thigh strain suffered in the field but has been taking a full part in training sessions and could share the new ball with Anderson on Thursday if Broad has not recovered from a bruised heel. Whoever is selected, both Finn and Broad will be short of match practice.

Finn made his England Test debut against Bangladesh in March 2010 and played in every Test that calendar year until being dropped for the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne. Despite his height, pace and wicket-taking ability, he was criticised for being expensive, something Finn feels he has addressed.

"I suppose when I started, I was a little bit expensive," Finn told Sport magazine. "But I still managed to take wickets, which is probably what kept me in the team. My economy rate in Tests, 3.66, isn't terrible - but it's not great either. I set myself very high standards, and it's probably not up to scratch by those standards."

Finn took 46 wickets at 26.23 from his debut until the Perth Test in December 2010. "The criticism of my knack of leaking runs hasn't been unfair but I was young at the time and I'd back myself now to be able to hold an end up and not give away as many runs," he said. "I feel like I've learned and developed a lot over the last 18 months.

"I've proved in limited-overs cricket for England that my economy rate has been as good as anyone's. I go at 4.67 runs an over in one-day internationals, and my T20 rate, 6.70, is okay as well and there's no reason why I can't transfer that into Test cricket."

Finn has forced his way back into the England bowling attack and has benefited from the help offered by the senior members of the attack. "The guys who have opened the bowling for the past two or three years have been exceptional," he said. "Broady and Jimmy have both been brilliant, so I think it would be hard for me to knock either of them off their perch.

"I'm not saying it's not something I'm aspiring to, though, because I've enjoyed taking the new ball in one-day and T20 cricket - and it's something I've done for Middlesex since I was 18 or 19 years old. It's something I'm accustomed to and really enjoy."

Finn is keen to test himself in subcontinental conditions again, having been one of few bright points for England during their ODI tour of India in October 2011. He took eight wickets at 31.62 with an economy rate of 5.27, when England as a team went at 5.88 an over during the 5-0 defeat.

"I've always enjoyed bowling on subcontinent pitches because you need a different set of skills and I think that suits me," he says. "You need to be able to reverse-swing the ball, your changes of angles on the crease are important, and having that bit of pace also helps on those sorts of wickets.

"There's definitely room for aggression, too. We saw that India struggled with the short ball when they came over to England last summer, and just because the wickets are slower there's no reason why you can't still use it."

Finn will resume his battle against Virat Kohli, a batsman in exceptional recent form, against whom Finn has played since he was 17. "He's not invincible," Finn said. "And we have a very good track record when it comes to getting the big men out."

Another big man is Sachin Tendulkar, who will be 40 in April and could end his Test career at the end of the forthcoming series. "There's been talk of that," Finn said. "The bloke averages 55 in Test cricket and obviously still loves the game; but you can't play the man - you have to play only the batsman in front of you, no matter what his name is. It would be nice to say I was the last person to take Tendulkar's wicket in Tests - definitely something to tell the grandkids."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 12, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

@mikey76 on (November 12 2012, 17:44 PM GMT) Bres might well have the game to suit these conditions - It could be as simple as that. If they play Broad over him that would IMO be a huge mistake. So if we're saying the 4th bowling spot is up for grabs , we'd have to presume it would be Finn,Onions,Meaker - I'd be surprised if they go with Monty and Bres is a better older ball bowler and it would be a bit weird opening with him. Like yourself , I'm still not convinced with Bell and Bairstow must consider himself very unlucky not to be in the side if the batting line up is as predicted

Posted by mikey76 on (November 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

JG2704. I was calling for Bresnan to be ditched before this tour because he looked like a spent force last summer. I have been pleasantly surprised by his performances so far albeit against weak opposition so he deserves to start alongside jimmy. If Broad can bowl at full whack then I'm all for him in the side, but I believe a team always needs somebody who can bowl 90mph to prize out a wicket or keep a batsman honest, regardless of what pitch they are playing on. Onions may come into contention later in the series, and most definitely in NZ. The most important thing for England is that Cook wins the toss and we make 500+. Then scoreboard pressure comes into it.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 12, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

I'm not sure about Broad but Finn would be a huge loss to England if he isn't fit. Broad must be hiding some sort of injury that he is very much low on pace now a days, clocking in the low to mid 120s regularly. Finn indeed is an exciting pacer.

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 12, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

england with overrated bowlers and hyped batsmen wud be blown away by straight ones from mediocre ashwin and yuvi

Posted by JG2704 on (November 12, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (November 11 2012, 19:18 PM GMT) I said before the series , if a 5 man attack I'd go Broad or Bres/Swann/Jimmy/Onions/Monty. If a 4 man attack maybe Bres/Swann/Jimmy/Onions. Re Finn - I don't think I rate him AS highly as most on here and if he is still carrying an injury I'd def not play him. Agree that Meaker offers something different but I'd still stick with Onions. On a slower pitch I'm not sure how effective Meaker would be

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 12, 2012, 3:07 GMT)

We need Finn to be fit and able, he seems our best bet among our speedsters. Pity about the warmups, we really needed to face some better quality spinners to be prepared. Anderson, Finn, Broad, Swann should be our attack, with Patel & KP to lend a hand.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 11, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

@JG2704: yes, it is a puzzle as to what set of bowlers England is going to select for the 1st Test. After cogitating on this for a bit, my choice would be: Jimmy, Finn, Bresnan, Swann & Patel with KP practising his offies before the match with some degree of intent. Broad, I believe, is carrying a chronic injury & Bresnan has done all that could possibly be asked of him in these warm-up games on the most benign set of surfaces. Should Finn not be fit (and if I read between the lines, he seems to be), then I'd go for Meaker before Onions, just because someone has to be able to top 140 kph. Onions is a very English-type bowler & would look for assistance from the pitch. Raw pace is not in his kitbag. Both Bresnan & Meaker can reverse & that has to be a consideration. Now, I could be wildly out & I know that Broad is favoured in higher circles, but in truth he is well down on pace, down on effectiveness. No room for Monty, I'm afraid.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 11, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

I sincerely hope the English players show good grace should they begin to lose sessions against India. That's right, forget losing an actual Test, or lone and behold the series, I'm talking sessions here. When Eng toured India last year for the ODIs, what we witnessed was some of the most obnoxious behaviour from England, all because they were being handed their backsides on a silver platter. Losing with dignity shows a man's character - pls. see how India handled themselves on the 2011 tour in what was a shambolic performance on field, however, at all times, they respected the decisions and applauded the opposition. They even recalled Bell when they could well have played spoil sport.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

@CheckIfTheScreenNameAlreadyInUse - Maybe he is just identifying an area where he needed to improve on and if you don't look at the stats you don't have a benchmark/target

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

@GerrardLK - Why bother with these sort of comms. If Eng lose I bet you'll be one of the 1st to disappear from this site leaving others to defend the side etc and also all Eng fans then get associated with these comms

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

@mikey76 - You could be right and Finn or Meaker might give England an extra dimension but I wonder that if India produce slower pitches whether this might be negated and maybe Onions,Jimmy,Broad and Bres have more savvy about them. Also when we beat India last time (admittedly Broad was bowling quicker) we generally relied on a bowling attck of Jimmy,Broad,Bres,Swann

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

Dear ESPN - Please could you publish the below comment. If an Indian fan is allowed to bring up the past then surely an England fan should have the right to put his take on that situation. It's not like there's nothing untrue in what I write here. If you won't publish my below comms then please in future could you not publish the originals comms @DNAX1 - As Bell was obviously walking off for tea , it was a very cheap ploy by certain Indian players. Bell may have been naive but that effort from the Indian fielders reeked of desperation. Most players thought it was tea otherwise why wasn't Dhoni anywhere near behind the stumps.?Bell/Flower should have accepted the decision. India would still have been thrashed in that test and I honestly think that wicket would have looked bad on them.

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

india will win the series vs england i am sure. The spinners will put into attack and the people who kow to play spin will play nicely like Virat Kohli

Posted by alwaysindia on (November 11, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

well mr finn, kohli thrashed you when you were in u19 cwc, also last year except one innings. so better be careful. don't fire him up, otherwise your economy rate will be beyond 5 and strike rate beyond 60s before the end of the series.

Posted by indianpunter on (November 11, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

would be good if tendulkar is forced to retire after this series. he will be blown away by finn/ broad/ any average bloke who can bring the ball in. expect a lot of bowled/ lbw s for tendulkar ( like dravid in aus 2011)

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 11, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

@gerrald. I feel ENG is playing with oldies only since last 25 years in India. For yor kind information even india can win the series with yuvraj and Raina as bowlers

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

@ S-A-M-1994 u will know which is minnow team..eng will be trashed 3-0....they may never be on top of test cricket for another 19 years after this loss..lol

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (November 11, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Finn gonna be Fit soon....bad news for minnow team india lol

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 11, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

My comment re. Broad below is based on current form only. Yes Broad did well in previous series, but this year he has disappointed me with his lack of pace, short-pitched bowling, and severe lack of variation with the ball when pitches aren't assisting bowlers enough. I don't know if this is injury related, or if the coaches have been whispering in his ears about changing his bowling action/lines of attack. But argue as you like - he's not as high in my list as the likes of Finn, Anderson, Swann, or even Bresnan, Monty and Patel depending on pitch/conditions.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 11, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

@Cpt. Meanster. The usual comedy from you. Broad "weak link"....!! Maybe this is why he was Man of the Series V India in 2011. "Weak link"... LMHO.

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (November 11, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

Its better, we don't discuss about England fast Bowlers... Broad, Jimmy, Finn against the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Tendulkar at subcontinent..come on man...we just have to see swann through ( its just because, pitch has something for him).. am sure, all fast bowlers economy rate will be more than 4 in this test series

Posted by CheckIfTheScreenNameAlreadyInUse on (November 11, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

I do like how he remembers his economy rate upto 2 decimals. What a nerd!

Posted by GerrardLK on (November 11, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Finn is too much for India. England can still play their old retired bowlers to get rid off this average Indian batting line up.

Posted by mylife4cricket on (November 11, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

i think England should play three fast bowlers and that too experienced fast bowlers,who have played in subcontinent before.So,if England thinks that way they should play Broad along with Anderson.And giving Finn a chance is not a bad option as he is a promising bowler for England.These in turn means threat to Indian batsman who doesnt play short ball well,lets see who wins!

Posted by mikey76 on (November 11, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Cpt Meanster. Funny you say broad is a weak link. The last time we played you guys he took 25 wickets in the series.

Posted by ind4vic on (November 11, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

lol..get ready for spin tracks, you will be useless even with new ball

Posted by trav29 on (November 11, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

i cant understand why everyone keeps describing broad as the weak link

since the start of the india series last year he has taken 67 wickets at 23, which is better than any other england bowler over the same period by far.

Posted by the_way_you_play_it on (November 10, 2012, 22:55 GMT)

One advice to Finn, is never talk about the great man be it critising or positive about him, becoz either of them will make him look at you as a bowler to have an eye on, and that makes him thrash you even if he is more than 50 years old he will neva give his wicket against you!!! All I would say "best of luck to finn" against the premier batsman in Indian team Virat kohli,I don't see any bolwer apart from dale steyn taking wicket of him in convincing manner after troubling all end up him with a few good deliveries before he gives his wicket away......

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2012, 22:50 GMT)

A very good bowler and somebody who can trouble the Indian batsmen consistently. Broad is a weak link and as an Indian supporter, I wouldn't be worried about Anderson either. Finn is the real deal.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 10, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

England need a 90mph + bowler to unsettle the Indians and get up in their rib cage. Only two guys on tour can do that on a regular basis. Finn and Meaker. Going in with 3 fast medium bowlers will be just what the Indians will want.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 10, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Though it is a difficult decision I just do not think 4 overs in a game nearly weeks ago counts for anything. Out of broad and Finn I would go Broad because he is more likely to have a default setting he can refer to-ie he has more experience. I do not know about Onions but he has at least bowled some,the main thing for a bowler being overs generally. obviously JA and TB should start as they are bowling fit and firing. Meaker is too-tempting.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 10, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

If Finn is fit, there should be absolutely no question/competition with Broad at all. Broad is a weak link, and Finn should be higher in the list than him. I like Finn's attitude and answers here regarding bowling: you bowl to "a batsman" only, not "a name"...

Posted by JG2704 on (November 10, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Personally I probably wouldn't have picked Broad or Finn and if either are carrying any sort of knock into the game then it would be foolish to pick either in a 4 man bowling attack.Onions was my pick at the start and although he's done little in the warm ups I'd stick with him. If the pitches are as touted going to be rank turners then I'm not sure what I'd do.It would seem foolish to leave Monty out as he could be our biggest handful on spinning pitches but then I don't like the idea of going in with just 2 pacers - as much because of the strain it may put on their bodies.Patel is not a wicket taker and should only be relied upon to give our bowlers a rest. Also I reckon Bresnan is now in so that would mean that if we conventionally open with 2 seamers and inc Monty in the side then Bres opening the bowling doesn't seem right. We could I suppose go unconventional and open with a spinner? Whatever happens I don't think Broad or Finn are good enough to risk if they're carrying knocks

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