Steven Finn determined to cement England place ahead of Ashes

Finn acknowledges that competition for
places is fiercer than ever

Middlesex pace bowler Steven Finn says he is determined to cement a permanent place in England’s Test squad ahead of a crucial summer of international cricket.

24-year-old Finn, who pipped captain Alistair Cook to the FTI Most Valuable Player award following a busy winter that saw him tie his career best haul of 6/125 in the decisive third Test in New Zealand and also record a memorable 56 runs as nightwatchman during the first test in Dunedin, has been in and out of the Test side over the last couple of years but hopes to become a permanent fixture in the build-up to back-to-back Ashes campaigns.

Speaking to reporters at Middlesex’s annual pre-season press event on Monday, Finn said: “The most important thing for me is that in these first two games for Middlesex I find my rhythm and I bowl well and then that will lead me nicely into the international summer. I’m looking at these two New Zealand Test matches to hopefully be a part of and then really try and cement my place in the team for the rest of the summer.

“In terms of my Test career, it’s been a bit stop and start over the last two years since I got left out of the Ashes. I’ve worked really hard to try and get myself back to a point where I can become a regular in the team again, like I was in 2010. I feel like I’m not far off but it would be nice to get a little run of games to be able to show what I can do.”

And with Chris Tremlett’s return to the England fold imminent following a torrid time with injury, Finn acknowledges that competition for places is fiercer than ever but appears to be relishing the challenge.

“The more competition the better,” he said. “The things that he (Tremlett) brings to the team are different to what I bring to the team and different to what Jimmy (Anderson) and Broady bring to the team. We’re lucky that we’ve got a diverse group of bowlers who bring different things.”

Finn has also welcomed the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a new playing condition into international cricket, effective from April 30, which will see umpires call a no-ball when a bowler breaks the stumps at the non-striker’s end during delivery. This mirrors the earlier announcement by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) who decreed that, from October 1, the offence will be punished by the award of a no-ball, rather than a dead ball.

The need for clarification on this controversial issue first arose during the first day of England’s second Test against South Africa at Headingley in 2012, when Finn had visiting captain Graeme Smith caught at slip, only to see umpire Steve Smith chalk off the wicket after deciding that the bowler’s accidental interference with the wicket had distracted the batsman.

A similar incident occurred during England’s fourth ODI in India back in January, when the same umpire denied Finn another crucial wicket after his knee had again clipped the wicket and dislodged the bails. On that particular occasion the fortunate batsman was Suresh Raina, who certainly made the most of his reprieve and made an unbeaten 89 to help seal a five-wicket win.

“As long as they name the law after me, I don’t care,” quipped Finn.

“The rules are the rules and I shouldn’t have been doing it. It was sort of inexcusable in the first place but there were a lot grey areas. Now that there’s a set rule and everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, that suits me far better.”

Finn insists he is continuing to perfect a shorter run-up in order to permanently eradicate the issue, and was happy with the early results of the modification, particularly in the one-day format.

“It’s only five metres shorter than it was before so it’s not a real drastic change. It’s just going to be a case of me getting used to it in test match cricket and first-class cricket and making sure it’s ready for that first test match of the summer. I’m going to work hard to get to that place where it’s more natural and looks more natural from the outside.”

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past