After being confronted with the biggest adversity of his cricket career to date, England seamer Steven Finn feels as though he is close to reaching his optimum form once again.
However, the Middlesex man has also declared that he will take his time about making a full return to the international arena.
Finn was sent home midway through England’s 5-0 pounding at the hands of Australia during last winter’s Ashes series. Deemed “unselectable” by the coaching staff, he flew back home, and has been working on his game ever since.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, the 25-year-old revealed the hard work that he has been putting in since returning from down under.
He said: "I've been through a long, arduous process since I got back from Australia to try and get back somewhere near where I was before in 2012 and before that.
"I listened to some advice that I probably shouldn't have done somewhere along the way, and worked on things that weren't quite right for me and didn't suit me as a bowler.
"What got tangled up had a knock-on effect. The bad habits I got into were still there, so it took a lot of hours in the nets trying to unravel the bad work that I'd done.”
Finn’s young career has thus far been punctuated by technical errors that he has had to iron out of his game, including a trailing leg that kept clipping the stumps as he bowled.
He has now resolved that issue, but an amendment to the rules has now affectionately described the action of hitting the stumps during your run-up, as “Finning”.
Since making his Test debut in 2010, the 6”7 bowler has proven to be a valued member for England in all forms of international cricket.
Having taken 90 Test wickets at an average just below 30, Finn certainly possesses world-class ability, it is just a matter of whether or not he can rediscover his best form.
That can be maintained in the less-pressured environment of county cricket. Back in April, the seamer claimed 17 wickets over the course of two four-day games at Lord’s in games against Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire respectively.
Continuing this recovery process with Middlesex – who currently sit top of Division One of the County Championship – is a sure way for Finn to find a bit of form that would arguably see him earn a recall.
The emergence on the international scene of bowlers like Chris Jordan and Harry Gurney are going to add to the competition that Finn faces, but on his day, there aren’t many bowlers who can match his pace and bounce.
A cool, calm and collected approach has been adopted by the England hopeful, and patience is a good attribute to have when working on the intricacies of a bowling action.
"I'm gutted to have missed out on 12 months' international cricket but there's no pressure from myself to get back in the England team as soon as possible,” added Finn.
"I'm desperate to play every England game, that's my motivation, but I have to make sure I'm right ready for if I get that opportunity again and all I can concentrate at the moment is winning and taking wickets for Middlesex."
It will be a year in July since Finn last donned the Three Lions jersey and crossed a boundary rope, hopefully it won’t be that long before we see him taking wickets for fun once again, on the grandest stage of them all.
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