Finn's Ashes rollercoaster

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Steven Finn's Ashes numbers are very respectable - 28 wickets from seven Test against Australia at 30.39, almost identical to his career average - but they barely scratch the surface of the emotional rollercoaster he has been through. After his latest injury*, having been recalled to the squad as a replacement for Ben Stokes, here is a look back at the ups and downs Finn has had facing the Aussies.

Ashes debut

Finn arrived at The Gabba in 2010 with an impressive 32 wickets from his eight Tests and took his place as one of three quicks alongside James Anderson and Stuart Broad. His first Ashes wicket came on the second day when he stooped low to grab a return catch off Simon Katich before adding Michael Clarke with a short delivery. He took some punishment during the mammoth stand of 307 between Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin, but once that partnership was broken he cleaned up the lower order to finish with 6 for 125 - a career-best.

Wickets, but too many runs

Having toiled hard in Adelaide when England were reduced to two frontline quicks following an injury to Broad, Finn continued to show his wicket-taking ability in Perth but his lack of control became too much for the management who put a premium on keeping the run-rate down. Finn conceded more than five-an-over at the WACA as Australia levelled the series and was then dropped for Melbourne with Tim Bresnan preferred. The move paid dividends as Bresnan's brisk seam bowling and reverse swing was central to two thumping innings victories as England retained the Ashes in style. Finn would play just three Tests in the next 18 months.

The start of problems

By the time of the next Ashes series in 2013, Finn was again a central part of the pace attack. He had returned solidly against South Africa the previous year - although his habit of kicking the stumps, which Graeme Smith made a fuss over, started to sow seeds of doubt - bowled well during England's famous victory at Kolkata then claimed 18 wickets in five Tests against New Zealand. But things did not go well at Trent Bridge - scene of a nail-biting 14-run win for England - as he claimed just two wickets and was taken at close to five an over. In the second innings Haddin eyed Finn as a weak link and plundered 20 off a two-over spell which set England's nerves jangling.


Finn was included for the away leg of the back-to-back Ashes, but it was a horrid tour from start to finish. His warm-up form was poor and he was never really close to selection. Even as the series disintegrated around England, the selectors tried every option except him. Early in the one-day leg the limited-overs coach Ashley Giles said Finn was "not selectable" and the decision was made that he was better off heading home for a break away from the game, then a period rebuilding his form and confidence with Middlesex.

The comeback

As though fate played a hand, Finn's Test comeback came against Australia - two years after his previous outing. It was a memorable occasion. Finn removed Steven Smith in his first over back and would add Clarke in the first innings. On the second day things were even better as he tore the heart out of Australia's middle order on his way to a career-best 6 for 79 which put England on course for victory and a 2-1 series lead. The following winter he was often the pick of the attack in South Africa but struggled for consistency during the 2016 home season against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Another chance

Finn has played just one Test in the past year - a wicketless affair in Dhaka when England were beaten by Bangladesh for the first time - and slipped down the pace pecking order behind Jake Ball, Toby Roland-Jones and Mark Wood. However, in the same breath he was dropped from England's list of central contracts but called into the Ashes squad following Ben Stokes indiscretions.

Injury strikes

Finn stood a decent chance of playing the first Test in Brisbane, with far more experience than Ball (three Tests) and the uncapped Craig Overton. However, he never got a chance to show what he could do on his return to Australia. After hurting his knee batting in the nets before England's opening tour match, he was ruled out of the series with torn cartilage and is set to return home to face the possibility of surgery.

*November 7, 0900 GMT - Story updated after Finn ruled out of tour