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November 10, 2010
Steven Finn believes he is ready to step up the intensity as England build towards the first Test in Brisbane later this month, and expects the crowd at Adelaide for Thursday's second warm-up match against South Australia to play their part in trying to unsettle an unusually issue-free England squad.
England's victory in their opening first-class warm-up match in Perth last week was the first time in 45 years that they had launched an Ashes tour with a win, and Finn played an important part in that effort, having overcome a tricky first spell to return decent match figures of 3 for 115 in 34 overs.
"We copped a bit of abuse at the WACA last week in that last innings," Finn told reporters in Adelaide. "It's something we're prepared for, we'll embrace and we're going to try to enjoy. Friendly banter is good - to make sure we're accessible as people, we're human beings as well, and everyone's got a sense of humour.
"You can see the funny side when people are chirping you. It's part of what we have to expect as international cricketers, and to be able to deal with that is important."
While he couldn't claim to be entirely happy with his efforts, Finn was nevertheless pleased that he was able to adjust his length to suit the WACA wicket, having started the game with a length that was far too full for the conditions. By the final day, however, he had settled into a decent rhythm that boded well for future challenges.
"I slid around in the footholds in the first innings a little bit - but I don't want to make excuses," said Finn. "I'm not the sort of person who is going to sit there and say it was because of the footholds I was bowling full.
"It might have contributed. But I didn't bowl well in my first spell and went for three or four an over - which is something I don't want to do in Australia. I adapted and managed to bowl better lengths. It's important that process happens quicker in future."
With 32 wickets in his eight Tests to date, and with an imposing 6'8" frame that ought to be well-suited to Australia conditions, Finn has been earmarked as a vital part of England's attack, even though he has never before set foot in the country. With that in mind, he is trying not to worry about getting everything right at once.
"I was happy with how I bowled towards the end of the first innings," he said. "It was that first spell that I wasn't happy with at all. But I'm 21 years old, and understand that I'm going to be inconsistent every now and again. But it's important that I don't settle for that and I try to make myself better each time I go out and bowl - and learn every time too."
England are expected to name an unchanged side for the South Australia match, with Alastair Cook the only major concern form-wise, following his scores of 5 and 9 at the WACA. However, England's coach, Andy Flower, dismissed any doubts, saying: "It's one game, two innings. I think he's going to do well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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