England in India 2012-13 November 10, 2012

England confident on Finn fitness

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John 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

  • michael 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.

  • Srinivas 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.

  • gurinder 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

  • John 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

  • Viraf 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.

  • ian 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.

  • Sanjay 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.

  • John 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

  • John 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

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