ODI series: Misfiring Steven Finn is latest victim to leave England's tour to hell in order to work on 'technical aspects of his game'

Finn has not played a minute of Test or ODI action having been selected in the original squad for the Tour of Australia

Brisbane

There might have been more troubled England tours of Australia, since there have been almost 50 of them. At present, however, nobody is bothering to do the research for fear that it may be an utter waste of time.

The 2013-14 instalment, which began with such optimistic fervour three months ago, was undermined twice more two days before the second one-day international to foment what is by now a familiar state of chaos. Steve Finn, the 24-year-old fast bowler who should be approaching the peak of his career, became the third member of the original party to leave for home early.

Finn has technical issues with his action which have deteriorated in his time here and made it impossible for him to be considered for selection. Nobody appears to have any answers.

Meanwhile Kevin Pietersen, whose shadow looms over all, was named in the preliminary squad of 30 for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March. But Ashley Giles, the limited-overs coach, pointedly declined to speculate on whether he would play for England again in any format. When asked if Pietersen would resume his international career, Giles said: “I don’t know, we have to take stock. We have picked a 30-man squad, nobody is guaranteed ever of playing.”

With Mitchell Johnson returning after a break for Australia at the ground where his startling renaissance began last November, it is possible to think only the worst. Johnson took nine wickets in the first Test and went on to finish with 37 in the series at 13.97 runs each. The tourists’ best hope may lie in the possibility that the left-arm paceman has been weakened by shaving off the moustache that somehow aggravated his menace.

England’s carefully devised one-day strategy, which took them to the Champions Trophy final only six months ago and should have won it, is looking decidedly anachronistic again. Their lack of urgency at the top of the order (as well as form) is placing an unnecessary burden on a lively and innovative middle order.

Finn’s departure was not entirely unexpected after his travails in the nets. He has lacked any sort of pace and rhythm, and it seems England knew they were taking a gamble  in picking him for the tour following an indifferent summer, when he was dropped after the first home Ashes Test – although he did play in the ODIs and T20 matches in September.

He was also named in the preliminary World Twenty20 squad but, barring a sporting miracle, it is impossible to think he will be picked in the final 15 early next month, especially as he will have two weeks away from the game.

“He’s got technical issues and the more troublesome they become, the worse the battle with them becomes. Of course it’s going to affect you mentally,” said Giles. “You start second-guessing what it is, what’s the start point, what is the end point, where am I going in my career?”

Finn’s Middlesex colleague James Harris revealed that Finn had spoken to Johnson, who had to go back to the drawing board after being dropped for the Ashes tour of England last summer. “I think the same thing can happen,” said Harris. “Johnson’s gone from being completely off the radar to one of the hardest bowlers in the world to face. Finny’s in that category, he’ll be back.”

Finn follows Jonathan Trott, who had a chronic stress-related illness, and Graeme Swann, who suddenly retired, in leaving this tour. There may be more to come. Pietersen continues to dominate affairs from afar. Had he not been on that list of 30, it would certainly have meant the finish of his career with England.

While it was much easier simply to name him without making any commitment, it is also probably true that no firm decision about Pietersen or anybody else has yet been made. Andy Flower, the head coach who is now at home in England, said the Ashes defeat represented the end of an era. Ultimately, that has to equate to the end of careers. Giles was offering no guarantees because they were not his to give.

“We had to pick a 30 for the ICC and we’ve got a T20 series against Australia coming up that Kev’s not involved in anyway,” he said. “But I reiterate we need to take a fresh look. The Ashes is still quite raw. It ended just a week ago, though a lot seems to have happened. It’s not long in a cricketing life so we’ve got to take our time.”

England have lost seven in a row against Australia and appear to be closing in rapidly on the 10 straight defeats they suffered twice before, in 1993 and 2001. Eke out a win on Friday and things might change but England have won only one ODI at The Gabba, 15 years ago. Lose and this tour is going only one way.

News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer was final surviving member of seminal punk band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice