Whitaker: Finn unlucky to miss out on Champions Trophy squad

“He’s still a young guy and [has] plenty of years to keep pushing for a place”

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England national selector James Whitaker has admitted that pace bowler Steven Finn should consider himself unlucky not to be picked for the Champions Trophy.

Finn was dropped in order to allow fellow seamer Mark Wood to regain his spot in the squad.

The 28-year-old played in England’s last ODI series against the West Indies and took four wickets in three matches at an average of 30.50.

“It is tough on Steven, he is a highly capped international and we’re fortunate we have someone waiting in the wings,” Whitaker said. “We feel we’ve picked the best available for what they need to do.

“He was disappointed but as ever he was man enough to accept it, he may or may not get a game against Ireland and he’ll keep knocking on the door. He’s still a young guy and [has] plenty of years to keep pushing for a place.”

Finn wasn’t the only person to miss out as batsman Ben Duckett also failed to make the cut. With this in mind, Whitaker pointed out that this shows how much competition there is for places in the ODI squad.

“By the nature of the way the players have played in the last 18 months it has created consistency,” he said. “Looking back we have played 20 players in about the last 19 internationals.

“We’ve had (Liam) Dawson in there, Finn, (Chris) Jordan a year ago, (Ben) Duckett and (James) Vince. They’ve performed reasonably well when they’ve come in so they have created competition for places and the people who have held down those spots have felt the need to stay sharp and play well.

“That is what has helped and good leadership, definitely good leadership, so we’re fortunate in that regard but there are some good young players pushing for places and that is a major thing.

“The spirit has evolved as well, so in that regard it was reasonably straightforward.”

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