Cricket

Lucky Finn has a point to prove after late England call-up


ASHES 2017-18

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Finn has taken 125 wickets from 36 Tests since his debut in 2010. © Getty

Steve Finn, the England paceman, couldn’t help feel disappointed when he was initially overlooked for England’s Ashes squad of Australia.

The towering paceman had hoped previous experience in Australia would enhance his chances but selectors opted for youth in a bitter blow for Finn. Having not played a Test since October of 2016, Finn’s once promising career appeared in limbo before an unexpected opening emerged.

The 28-year-old received a late call-up after Ben Stokes, the star all-rounder, was provisionally suspended over an incident outside a Bristol nightclub, which is under police investigation. The saga has threatened to derail England’s chances of retaining the Ashes, with many believing they are doomed without their talisman.

However, in a potential silver lining, Finn is hoping to resurrect a roller-coaster of a career, which has yielded 125 wickets from 36 Tests since debuting in 2010. Finn acknowledged his career was mired in a delicate juncture and hoped to make the most of his reprieve.

“When you’re a late call-up to the squad and have been out of selection for the past six months or so, you definitely do have a point to prove,” Finn told reporters in Perth on Wednesday (November 1). “It’s not ideal circumstances to come into the squad (in that way). Obviously, I was naturally disappointed to miss out in the first place.

“But whatever the circumstances that you get called up into a Test squad – especially an Ashes squad over here – it’s a very proud moment,” he added.

Amid an inexperienced line-up, Finn is a seasoned Ashes veteran having been part of numerous campaigns although he has played just seven Tests against Australia. Despite being constantly on the chopping block, Finn has a solid record against Australia having taken 28 wickets at 30, including two six-wicket hauls.

In just his ninth Test, Finn was England’s best bowler when he claimed 6 for 125 during Australia’s first innings to open the 2010 Ashes in Brisbane. His accuracy and bounce troubled the Australian batsmen but Finn was subsequently dropped two Tests later with the series delicately poised at 1-1.

Finn missed out on England’s momentous thrashings in Melbourne and Sydney en route to clinching their first series victory in Australia since 1986-87. And he has been unable to crack a Test Down Under ever since, having been overlooked during England’s wretched tour of 2013-14.

Finn’s career hit a low point during that summer when he was sent home before the limited-overs part of the schedule because selectors had lost faith in him. Now, four years on, Finn hoped his collective Ashes experience would put him in good stead.

“The Ashes is the pinnacle of what you can do as a Test match cricketer in an England shirt,” he said. “Having that experience of winning that before and how good it felt and how much people got behind us when we did that, it’s something we want to recreate.”

Many pundits have written off England chances, particularly with a question mark hanging next to Stokes. However, Finn was confident of his team’s chances. “One man doesn’t make a team,” Finn said. “We’ve won games without Ben over the past 12 to 18 months, and we come here knowing we are capable of winning games without him.”

Finn will be in the selection mix for England’s two-day tour opener against a weakened WA XI side starting at the WACA on Saturday (November 4). Nathan Coulter-Nile, the in-form paceman, will be attempting to press his case for an Ashes call-up when he captains WA XI.

The rest of the regular Warriors players will play in WA’s Sheffield Shield match against NSW at Hurstville Oval starting on Saturday.

© Cricbuzz

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