Cricket

Steven Finn believes adding a swing bowling option to his armoury can boost his quest to feature in May's Test series against Sri Lanka.

Steven Finn focused on cementing spot as England's third Test-match seamer

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Steven Finn has vowed to turn the frustration of missing England's charge to the Twenty20 World Cup final by cementing his spot as the third Test-match seamer.

Middlesex paceman Finn insists he had fully beaten a calf problem just in time for England's T20 campaign, only to be overlooked by cautious selectors.

Hailing England's barnstorming drive to the final, Finn also became the latest man to lend his support to Ben Stokes, who was floored by West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite's match-winning four successive sixes in the showpiece event in India.

Fit and fresh ahead of the new county season, Finn believes adding a swing bowling option to his armoury can boost his quest to feature in May's Test series against Sri Lanka.

"I bowled my first flat out session after that minor calf injury the day that England played their first World T20 warm up match," said Finn.

"I was fully fit. I was so frustrated I wasn't there but the decision was made quite quickly - it was out of my hands.

"I told them I thought I'd be fit, but it didn't happen. It was very frustrating and I was gutted for the guys but they were awesome. It is so disappointing not to get over the line in that final over.

"I watched in on my sofa with John Simpson and Sam Robson (fellow Middlesex players). It was heartbreaking that final over but I though the guys held themselves very well - they let no one down.

"I thought they deserved to win that game, they way they fought through it. They way they fought through the whole tournament. It was something freakish that happened - I think they will be a better team for it.

"I feel for Ben (Stokes) - it happens, the guy at the other end just got the better of him but Ben is a strong enough bloke to come back from it.

"Trevor Bayliss has said he's the life and soul of the team. He will always put his hand up when it's hardest and try and give everything to the team.

"Everyone is disappointed but proud at the same time that they got to the final. People after the first game and a half were writing them off, saying they were hopeless and they had no chance. And to prove all of those people wrong is a real achievement."

If last season allowed Finn to add movement in the air to his ability to shift the ball off the seam, now the 27-year-old is intent on harnessing the two strands of quick bowling in a bid to feature regularly for England across all formats.

Middlesex will host Warwickshire to open their Specsavers County Championship campaign at Lord's on April 17, with Finn already well aware of the stakes in relation to England openings.

"It took me 18 months to two years to perfect the outswingers, to feel confident enough to do in a game," said Finn, who debuted his revised attack at Test level as England claimed last summer's Ashes 3-2.

"When I tried it early last year I think that was the turning point of my summer.

"I took that into the Edgbaston Test but even at the top of my run of the first ball I was going to bowl in that Edgbaston Ashes Test - I was still questioning whether I should try and swing it or whether I should just run in and hit the pitch and let the ball do the work.

"I'd worked so hard over the last couple of years to get that delivery right, why wouldn't I want to try it?

"Injuries since then have been frustrating but I can take solace from the fact that I know I am in the hunt to be in the England team in all three formats.

"(Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson are nailed-on and the rest of us are fighting it out for that third seamer spot for the first Test - so I have to perform in these first few Championship games."

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