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March 4, 2013
Steven Finn will continue to use his new shortened run-up in the Test series against New Zealand after quickly finding success with it in the one-day series.
Instigated through a combination of long-term work with David Saker, the England bowling coach, and the problem of kicking the stumps in his delivery stride - which has led to a Law change by MCC that will take effect on October 1 - Finn unveiled his new approach during the final ODI in Napier and produced an opening six-over spell that went for just 11 runs.
He did not play in the warm-up match in Queenstown, instead spending more time with Saker on the sidelines, and is feeling increasingly confident in his new technique. "It felt good in the one-day series. I bowled with it in practice every day, and it feels good," he said. "We'll see what happens in the Test matches. But my first over will be off the shorter run.
"It is geared towards being more consistent, being able to bowl for longer spells and for longer in the day and keeping me as fresh as possible. The shorter run-up so far has worked well for me. I think it allows me to be stronger at the crease, in a better position. I felt like I got more bounce off the shorter run," he added.
"Whether that just happened on those wickets or whether it was the shorter run that was doing it, I don't know. Over a longer period of time, I'll be able to assess that and tell. But it certainly felt as though I was more compact at the crease and more controlled."
He will keep his traditional longer run-up in reserve in case he decides to return to it, but while Finn has complete control over what delivery pattern he uses that does not extend to which end he will bowl from. There was a strong wind in Dunedin on Monday, which could assist Finn in finding extra pace if he bowls with it to his back, but he will need to defer to James Anderson. "I'll have to negotiate with Jimmy, I think," he said. "If I get the wind, then great."
This match will actually mark another return to the Test side for Finn. He missed the final match of the series in India, at Nagpur, after picking up a back injury following an important contribution to victory in Kolkata. Since being dropped midway through the 2010-11 Ashes, Finn has only strung together back-to-back Tests once (against South Africa last year) and England need to ensure they can get some decent stretches out of a key fast bowler. The long run-up may have gone, but now he wants a long run.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala