Pakistan v England 2011-12 February 8, 2012

Finn wants to stop carrying drinks


You might expect a man on the fringes of a team - and a losing team at that - to point out the failings of his colleagues in an attempt to advance his own ambitions.

Steven Finn, however, is not that sort. While he admits to frustration at having been 12th man throughout England's Test series against Pakistan, he remains fiercely protective of his under fire colleagues, insisting this is not the time for knee-jerk reactions.

Finn came within an ace of playing in both the first two Tests of the series against Pakistan in the UAE. On the first occasion he missed out to Chris Tremlett and on the second he missed out to Monty Panesar. Panesar's subsequent success ended Finn's hopes of selection for the third Test and he was a powerless onlooker as England, their batsmen bamboozled by Pakistan's spin attack, succumbed to a 3-0 whitewash.

"In terms of having to change personnel, I don't think we need that kind of knee-jerk reactions at the moment," Finn said. "The side has been very, very successful over the last two years with the personnel who played in this series. There's no doubt we have the best people available in the country playing in the team, we just didn't adapt to the conditions as quickly as we'd have hoped.

"The bowlers did a fantastic job during this Test series. Obviously I wanted to play every game and I was disappointed that I didn't, but that's the way it goes.

"I'm getting very good at mixing drinks for the boys. I've sort of got used to it over the last 12 months. But it's not the sort of thing you enjoy getting used to."

The worry for England is that they have lost nine of their last ten international games. It is a run that extends back to the final Twenty20 international game against West Indies in September and includes the tour of India, the current tour of the UAE and all three formats of the game.

While their Test form has been, until recently, good, their ODI form away from home has been wretched. They lost all five ODIs against India in October and have lost 14 of their last 20 ODIs outside England. There are few realistic grounds for optimism going into the ODI series against Pakistan.

But Finn was one of the few successes of England's limited-overs tour of India. Not only did he take the most wickets of any English bowler - eight - but he also proved the most economical, conceding 5.27 runs an overs. He bowled at a sharp pace and showed a newly acquired ability to reverse swing the ball. Aged just 22, he is one of England's brightest prospects.

Now he hopes that he can be part of a fresh injection of young talent into an England camp that is looking to the future and the World Cup in Australasia in particular. In Finn, along with new additions Jos Buttler (aged 21), Danny Briggs (aged 20), and the likes of recently capped Jonny Bairstow (aged 22), England hope they have the nucleus of a bright, young side that can lead the team to brighter times.

"This one-day team is a very youthful, very exciting place to be," Finn said. "The guys coming in, the fresh faces, are going to be very enthusiastic to show what they can do.

"They're very skilled players as well, so they're going to be breathing down the necks of the guys in the team. I think this one-day series is going to be a great opportunity for us to put what's gone under the carpet."

Finn also feels that Friday's game against England Lions will present an excellent opportunity for young players to catch the eye of the England management. While Andy Flower, the England coach, has confirmed that Lions players will not be promoted to the senior squad irrespective of performances in the game, Finn knows from experience that such games can provide a useful 'shop window.'

It was in the same stadium in Abu Dhabi in February 2010 that Finn, along with Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb, were part of a Lions side that beat England. On the strength of that performance, Kieswetter and Lumb were selected as the opening partnership for the World Twenty20 while Finn wasn't far behind in a call up.

"Friday's game is going to be important for everyone, on either of the two sides," Finn said. "There's great opportunity for people on both sides to push for places in every format of the game. If you look at Kieswetter and Lumb, they played against the England team over here two years ago, the next month they were opening the batting in the World Twenty20. I played in that game, too, and less than a month later, I was playing Test cricket.

"Andy Flower and the management team are looking for people's attitudes; they're looking for things other than just performances - and games like this are a great opportunity for people on both sides to show everything they can give."

The Lions team will contain all the members of the senior England squad who do not make it into the main England side for Friday's match.

Meanwhile Andy Hurry, the first team coach at Somerset, has joined the England party to deputise for Richard Halsall, the fielding coach and Flower's unofficial deputy, who has returned to England to be with his heavily pregnant wife.

England are also looking into the possibility of some of their players - notably Ian Bell, who has been left out of the limited-overs squads - travelling to Sri Lanka ahead of the rest of the party to acclimatise to the pitches and conditions. It is possible that Bell will be able to represent a local side in Sri Lankan domestic competition, as have the likes of Varun Chopra and Moeen Ali in recent weeks.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Randolph on February 11, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    The problem with Finn is he now looks pedestrian to the likes of Starc, Cummins and Pattinson. It's no wonder he's carrying drinks.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Finn is a prime example of the way the selectors policies differ from batsmen to bowlers. When Finn was dropped in the last Ashes series I believe he was the highest wicket taker. As it happens Bresnan or Tremlett (can't rem which came in for Finn and which for Broad) did a great job but our batsmen who were at least half responsible all kept their places. The stats tell their own story in the Pak series and yet again not one change was made to the batting line up even for the 3rd test. Sure the series was gone but had we got a positive result it would have meant that we'd not have to rely on NZ to keep our ranking. Sorry I digressed a little away from the OD thread.It'll be an interesting game tomorrow. I still wish they'd rest Broad and Anderson

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    i think finn has to play if england are to put up a fight... anderson is fairly poor in ODIs

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    i think he is very good prospect for england he will do well in any conditions not like anderson who can just do well in eng ,sa , aus ,nz and other helpful conditions but even here in subcontinet until he keeps his raw pace i was impressed by the way he bowled agaisnt us(india) in the odi series and anderson cant do well in helpful condtions too . bresnam with his reverse swing and bouce he gets will do well in any condtions and anyformat struat broad with the kind the heart he bowls just will do well but anderson WC and this series just has put the truth in front of us but this steven finn needs to given as many chances as possible and selecting tremlett ahead of him was a joke he will become a great bowler in the future if he keeps himself fit and also that raw pace and just needs to get his attidude right just sledged too much during odi series agaisnt India

  • Sony on February 9, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    Last time england visited india the only bowler from both teams who was causing problems to batsmen was finn. and that too on dead barren wickets. I think england management is sleeping. something similar to what they did with flintoff early in his career.

  • Anver on February 9, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Finn is a good prospect for Eng........ can hear more about his bowling in the coming years for Eng !!!!!!!!!!!

  • ian on February 9, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: I'm more optimisic than you are. I guess that there will be something of a rotation of players in these ODIs. I'd imagine that JA will be given a break soon, possibly in game one, as you surmise. Thus, 'next cab' Finn plays. Bres has to play too, as soon as his fitness is evident to the management. In the test side, & away from spinners' pitches, Finn will not wait long. Over the next few years I expect him to become Tremlett's replacement and, much as it pains me to say this as a Surrey man, CT may well have played his last game for England. Sudden departures of fast bowlers is one of those desperately unfortunate facts of life at the top level once they have become (major) injury- prone. For the now, what interests me esp. is when and how Briggs gets a run out. I have this feeling that GS mesmerises England's selectors rather more than he does Pakistani RHBs. Anyway, there are enough (actually too many) players in the party and selection is going to be a real headache.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Unfortunately for Finn barring injury or serious lost of form Anderson, Broad, and Swann are automatic choices. That leaves only the 3rd seamer spot open and Bresnan is slightly ahead because he's probably the best #8 batsman in the world atm...even better than Broad. I'm a bit sad to see all this talent wasted on the bench. He should be out there gaining more experience and keep improving but he's shown what he can do with the limited opportunities afforded to him. Remember he's the fastest englishman to get to 50 wickets to start off a career. That was more than a year ago and since then he's improved and bowling faster...even faster than Broad. Personally I would rather have him in the lineup and leave out Bresnan and add the latter if Eng decides to go to a 5 man attack.

  • Satish on February 9, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Witn Patel as second spinner on ODI, they have the opening to include extra seamer in the team.. The 11 of England could be : Cook , Kieswetter, Trott, KP, Bairstow/Buttler , Morgan, Patel, Broad, Swann, Finn and Anderson/Bopara.. In case Anderson doesn't hit line n length in OD format, Bopara can play in middle order.. He ll provide cover for batting order as well as his bowling ll be mroe useful in the slow tracks in shorter formats.. England are now not having any 6th bowler to support the main 5 attack..

  • John on February 9, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Finn has come on amazingly quickly for a man of his size. Frequently players who are very tall take longer to fill out and become strong enough to meet the demands of first-class, let alone test, cricket. In a couple of years he'll be a very difficult bowler to face.

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