Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“The plan is to try to go at under three, and build pressure and get wickets that way”
England pace bowler Steven Finn has hit rock bottom as of late, especially after he was dropped from the Ashes team in July, following his disastrous performance against Australia during the first Test at Trent Bridge.
However, he is determined to prove he belongs in England’s pace attack when England take on the Cricket Australia Invitational XI in Sydney.
“Perth wasn’t ideal for me; I didn’t bowl particularly well,” Finn said when asked how he thought he performed during England’s first warm-up match against Western Australia. “But I thought I got better as the game went on.
“I’ve had some good nets since then…it’s just about transferring that into the middle. It’s no good being a net bowler that gets everyone out there, and then can’t get a wicket in the game. It’s not about using it all up in the nets. You want it all to happen out in the middle. Ideally, the middle is a combination of the work you do in the nets.”
Finn has also been altering his bowling action and run-up in order to ensure he does not keep hitting the stumps with his knee.
“I think so,” he said when asked if his kneeing the stumps was a thing of the past. “I haven’t kneed the stumps for quite a while – it only happened a couple of times during the summer.
“So that’s out of my repertoire now … I hope I don’t need to talk about that again. I’m content with the way I’m going through the crease. There’s not too much of a jump in. (My run-up) is back to what it was for the vast majority of last summer.
“There were issues I had to address. I couldn’t keep kneeing the stumps, and a means to not doing that was making the run-up shorter. It worked short term. But long term, I didn’t feel it was going to work for me.”
However, he once again reiterated the fact that he was nowhere near his best during the warm-up match against Western Australia.
“Going at five an over, still, in the second innings wasn’t great,” he said. “But actually…I was much happier.
“That (performance) wasn’t ideal for me. But I’ve put that under the carpet now; I’ve moved on and hope I’ve learned from that. I’m still a little bit of a way off. The proof of the pudding will be performances in the middle.”
Finn added that the “plan” was now to try and go at “under three” an over.
“I’m happy with where I’m going,” he said. “I was probably a bit confused about nine months ago, halfway through the New Zealand tour, as to what I was doing.
“But I’ve got real clarity in what I want to do. I’m very settled in what I want to do and the way I want to go about it.
“Obviously, I’d rather not go at five an over. The plan is to try to go at under three, and build pressure and get wickets that way.”
But, Finn acknowledged that he will have to go at “under three” an over consistently if he is to win his starting spot back.
“I’ve been around a little while now – and obviously, in an ideal world, I’d have cemented that (Test) spot by now,” he said. “It’s not happened, but I feel as though I’m working towards that, trying to get back into that team.
“If I get an opportunity to bowl a lot on this game, I have to put down a marker to be selected for that first Test.”