England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 15, 2013

Bresnan pushing for Finn's place


Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions will again be pushing for Steven Finn's place in England's bowling attack after the selectors named an unchanged 13-man squad for the second Investec Test at Lord's.

As it was before the opening Test at Trent Bridge the one area of debate is the third fast bowler behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad although the selectors have resisted going outside their original group.

Finn had a poor Test, taking match figures of 2 for 117 in 25 overs; the economy rate a particular concern on a surface where scoring became increasingly difficult as the match progressed.

It was a tight call between him and Bresnan in the first place before the selectors opted to retain faith in Finn who had been in the side throughout the five Tests against New Zealand. However, if Alastair Cook does not feel able to entrust Finn with a greater number of overs a change will be required so that the workload can be more evenly spread among England's quicks with Bresnan the likeliest man to replace him.

Anderson had a grueling five days at Trent Bridge, culminating in his marathon 13-over spell on the final day, and was forced to leave the field during Australia's last-wicket stand. He returned to claim the matchwinning wicket after lunch and the official line was that Anderson only suffered cramp, but with just three days between games it will be a major test of his renowned fitness.

There remain concerns, too, over Stuart Broad who struggled with his right shoulder during the first half of the Trent Bridge Test after taking a blow from James Pattinson while batting although his performances improved markedly as the match wore on.

In hindsight, with the way the Trent Bridge surface developed, England may have preferred Bresnan's skills to Finn. Not only can Bresnan bowl lengthy, tight spells but he is also another good exponent of reverse swing.

Bresnan's Test record at Lord's is unflattering with five wickets at 66 in three appearances, while Finn has impressive numbers on his homeground - 29 wickets at 20.65 from five Tests. The final decision could yet come down to the surface; if the hot weather means another baked, cracked pitch there would be further weight behind a recall for Bresnan whereas if it appears like it may carry through with good pace, there could be a temptation to retain Finn.

Onions remains the outside bet to come into the side although he does bowl very well to left handers. The initial expectation was that Graeme Swann would be the major threat to Australia's left handers, but he was below his best at Trent Bridge and was played with relative ease by the likes of Ashton Agar and Pattinson.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anupam on July 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    He is 6'7 skyscraper, young, talented the only thing is missing is aggressiveness. He don't bowl like a tall, angry, bad guy, aggressive bowling- work in these things fella.

  • Anupam on July 16, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    JG2704 on (July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT) Yes Fella I'm on my words. I support Tremlett over Onion & Bresnan, the column is Bresnan pushing Finn so thats why I support Tremlett. Root & Cook as an opener one of wish come true. One more thing that i want is AD Hales in all format.

  • Samuel on July 16, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd - it depends what you mean by bare. There is plenty of fast bowling talent around, but England have wasted the opportunity to get it involved, so they now lack depth. When Broad & Bresnan were clearly struggling with injuries last year they were continually thrown to the wolves instead of being sorted out properly, which would have been the perfect time to get the likes of Meaker, Harris and Roland-Jones involved and begin rebuilding a stock of pace bowlers. Now they're all injured or out of form, so there's no real choice but to go back to what are, admittedly, proven international performers - I think plenty of sides around the world would like to have a player like Bresnan or Onions in reserve to be fair.

  • Nicholas on July 16, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    If there's any doubt over Broad's shoulder at all, England should leave him out. That would mean both Bresnan and Finn will play at Lords. Onions is a fine bowler, but as people have said Lord's is Finn's hunting ground, so surely Finn will be preferred?

  • Jason on July 16, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @cric_J, totally agree with in regards to Bresnan at lords, for some reason hes never really settled at the ground as a bowler. I think his best is 1/155 in a game.

    My concern over fin at Lords is based on what happened in the SL game where he was signifcantly wayward, so much so that Strauss had to resort to putting in a leg stop to prevent the Leg byes that were being conceded.

    The only other option is Onions who is far too similar to Anderson, except that he bowls much more wicket to wicket.

    In this case its very much a Frying pan and Fire excercise so I have to stick with Finn though I suspect Bresnan will be drafted in to strengthen the batting at the bottom.

  • John on July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @mikeyp147 on (July 15, 2013, 9:43 GMT) Seem to remember Finn getting worse treatment from Tino in that game and to be fair I think Tino just had one of those games. Until Tino , both Onions and Finn had good figures

    @AKS286 on (July 15, 2013, 14:53 GMT) You say disturbing a winning squad is not a good idea but then you talk about bringing Tremlett in - a guy who is not even in the squad ...

  • Dummy4 on July 16, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I would like Finn to keep his place and open the bowling. His best spell at Trent Bridge was with the new ball in the first innings, a whisker away from a test hat trick. Dropping Finn after the first Test would go against England's philosophy of keeping a consistent team. I think both Broad (recovering from that blow on the shoulder) and Swann (more overs under his belt now) will bowl better at Lords, so no need to panic. Finn must open the bowling though.

  • shashwata on July 16, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    I have always believed that players who have historically done well on a particular ground , should be given a preference unless they are as horrible as Dernbach. That's why I wanted Bres in for Finny at Trent Bridge as he had a better record there.

    Now Finn , although he was pathetic at Trent Bridge , has an impressive record at Lord's. Also it is his home ground. Bres , on the other hand , has been very poor here. So ,I'd probably go for Finny.

    But then the pitch needs to be looked at as well. The one used against NZ was pretty slow and lacked bounce. That won't bode well for Finny and in that case Jimmy may have to bowl 13 consecutive overs gain, which is the last thing I want to see. Also Lord's is usually a good batting pitch and we need a workhorse sort of bowler for that. Bres pips Finny in this regard.

    I am a bit confused now with it being 60-40 for going with Finny and would look at the pitch first.The good thing is that both Broady and Jimmy have pretty good records here.

  • VENKATACHALAM on July 16, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Onions will be the ideal replacement. Wicket to wicket bowler who can bowl consistently over long spells. And in this DRS era, he will be very handy with his line and length.

  • KAMAL on July 16, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Dropping FINN will be a mistake,it will ruin the career of the young fellow. Remember Anderson has had the similar issues when he started his career but persistent trust has made him a great bowler.FINN can learn a lot from Anderson.Now talking about Bresnan is wastage of time...as some one said,,he should go back to domestic cricket...!!!I hope English selection will reconsider about FINN selection...