One of the many pieces of rubble from the collapsed building that was England’s Ashes tour, has been Steven Finn – a man whose career once promised the world now looks set for a rejection from the England setup after a turbulent few years around the squad, despite only being 24.
The towering pace man was the only man of the whole Ashes touring party not to appear in a single match, with various lines being given for his exclusion from the XIs, becoming one of the great mysteries of English cricket – what has happened to Steven Finn?
Having been a huge hope for England’s pace bowling attack for a number of years, Finn’s career has meandered into a mess, with splatterings of flying spells coupled with controversial knees knocking off bails whilst coming in for criticism due to his poor economy rates at times.
With a few months in Australia that mainly involved lurking in the shadows of the dressing room and an apparently large number of hours with coaching staff, his disappearance off the international scene has resulted in a trip back to England, with some less than inspiring quotes about his future for England.
The cause of Finn’s demise is considerable debatable, but a triggering point to his latest struggle was the kneeing of the stumps that has begun months of meddling with the technique of the Middlesex quick bowler.
Andy Flower’s England cricket team hasn’t been based on attacking, throughout his reign as Head Coach, Flower’s main instinct seems to be to approach in a ‘Don’t lose’ rather than aiming in a more positive vein, this negative and – some would say – pragmatic cricket, doesn’t lend itself to a tearaway and inconsistent fast bowler, like Steven Finn at his best.
With these tactics optimised in the 2010/11 Ashes series, that saw Finn dropped for leaking too many runs, despite taking a lot of wickets, coupled with the coaching that has seen Finn’s bowling apparently toned down to reduce his economy rate.
Finn may be the victim of over coaching, with a side that operates to such strict regulation and tactics under the view of Andy Flower’s Iron Fist, dropping his pace to increase his control rather than blowing away batting line ups, although if trying to make Finn into a controlling and economical bowler, why not use someone more appropriate?
Finn has fallen from England’s high hope to lead the attack in the post-Anderson era, seemingly now crippled by a program of over coaching that has become endemic within English cricket, restricting the extreme talents rather than allowing players to relax into their play – as with Mitchell Johnson in the last Ashes.
Finn should be leading the line for England within the next couple of years, but his career has a sudden air of doubt as isolated alone in a technical barrage of ‘help’ that may be conflicting and over complicating the game – perhaps a great loss to an English cricket system that is becoming robotic to the point of suffocating flair and individuality.
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