Cricket

Does Steven Finn deserve second Ashes opportunity?

Should Finn keep his place? (©GettyImages)
Should Finn keep his place? (©GettyImages).

England won an Ashes Test to remember at Trent Bridge on Sunday July 14. A tantalising affair which tugged on the emotion's of both English and Australian fans a like.

A brilliant opener which sets up the rest of the series perfectly. 

Steven Finn made up the fourth man in England's bowling attack. Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Graeme Swann are among the world's elite and pick themselves for almost every England match in any form of the game. Finn however does not.

Finishing with figures of two wickets from 25 overs for 117 runs at Trent Bridge, Finn will be hugely disappointed with his return. And so will the England selectors. 

Finn has at least made the 13 man squad for the second test at Lord's. England selector Geoff Miller said that the Test match at Trent Bridge was: "a fantastic start to the Test series with both sides showing a huge amount of skill and determination." 

Questions have been raised by the media and pundits about Finn's recent form. A genuine  fast bowler, at six foot seven inches he utilises his pace and bounce to trouble the world's best on his day. Having also developed the ability to swing and reverse swing the ball, at 24, Finn looks set to have a bright future with his country. 

However the Trent Bridge pitch was incredibly slow from day one. No bowler from either side was able to generate any real speed of delivery. Steven Finn looked erratic at times, his line and length varied. When you bowl short on a slow pitch the ball just sits up and is waiting to be hit to the boundary. 

Finn's match was perhaps summed up late on the final day. With Australia closing in on the target required, an epic test match resembling the 2005 Ashes series was in the balance. Consistency, high class performance and nerves of steel were needed. 

Cook turned to Steven Finn. With the match reaching it's enthralling climax, it could have gone either way. Finn conceded 24 runs off two overs as Australia's steely wicket-keeper, Brad Haddin, cut lose and went on the rampage. The Aussie veteran could sense Finn's lack of confidence like a shark senses blood. He went for the kill.

And what could have been for Australia and for Steven Finn, luckily for Finn, Anderson struck late to clinch the match by 14 runs for England.

It is that consistency which Finn lacks. He has the variation and ability but lacks the capability to maintain a high level of performance over a sustained period of time. Anderson and Broad, the former in particular have huge levels of consistency which have seen them become two of the world's best. 

Among the 13 man squad named by selectors are Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan and Durham's fast bowler Graham Onions. At 28 and 30 both have played many test matches for England and have the necessary experience to perform well in high pressure situations.

Graham Onions, a medium-fast bowler has had a distinguished career. But it has been disrupted by injury, robbing him of many more appearances for his country. Onions is similar to Anderson, an exponent of the swinging ball. His stock delivery is his in-swinging delivery. A real threat to batsmen. 

Tim Bresnan has been a regular in the England side. A medium-fast bowler, he is a wicket taker but also has the control to keep runs at a minimum at one end. Vital in close test matches. He also gives more depth to the England batting line up. Having scored first class centuries and half centuries for Yorkshire and England. 

Finn is not inexperienced. He played a key role at the Gabba in Brisbane in the 2010-11 Ashes series. He took 6 wickets for 125 runs that day. He has delivered before. 

Tim Bresnan adds depth to both the batting and bowling departments. My feeling is that England will plump for the Yorkshireman. Finn will have his time. 

A crucial decision is to be made. England hold the upper hand but the Australian's, 'chipper' about their sides chances will have a huge say about where the coveted urn will end up come the end of the test series. 

 

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Topics:
Australia cricket
Steven Finn
England cricket
Cricket
The Ashes

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