Steven Finn: 'I've had fun in this Test but there are guys who are ahead of me in the pecking order'
Tuesday 01 June 2010
Steven Finn readily admits to being a "Bambi on ice" but England's newest, and gangliest, fast bowling star will not accept that he has done enough already to put his bottom on a seat when it comes to this winter's Ashes aeroplane to Australia.
Finn, making only his third Test appearance and first in this country, seemed to have more trouble keeping his feet at Lord's than knocking over Bangladesh. He went sprawling on several occasions, losing his footing after delivering the ball, yet not only emerged unscathed but also picked up the man-of-the-match award after finishing with five wickets yesterday and nine scalps across two innings.
Off the field, though, Finn's feet remain firmly on the ground. "There is a lot of hard work that needs to be put in by me," said the 21-year-old when it was pointed out that he is now an odds-on favourite to tour Australia in a few months. "There are guys to come back in [Stuart Broad and possibly Graham Onions and Ryan Sidebottom] who are ahead of me in the pecking order. I'm not going to kid myself. I've had fun playing this Test and I'm loving playing for my country but fundamentally it's for me to make it really difficult for the selectors to drop me.
"If I can do that by putting in consistent performances, whether it be for England or for Middlesex, during the season then my name will be there or thereabouts."
Andrew Strauss is delighted with the progress being made by his county colleague, pointing out that Finn has shown he belongs at the highest level. But he, too, is wary of jumping the gun. "If you look at bowlers who take wickets in Australia those heavy, hit-the-deck bowlers generally do quite well. Certainly Glenn McGrath had a reasonable career there," said England's captain. "But there is a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then. Hopefully we will have the full complement of bowlers back and everyone will be jostling for position, which is a pretty healthy thing for a side."
England won comfortably enough in the end, but Strauss knows there is room for improvement in the bowling – Finn excepted. "We got better as the wicket got flatter and we will be better for these five days, but we are obviously looking to set our standards higher than we achieved in this game," he said.
For Bangladesh, it was an all too familiar story of stretching England but failing to break them. "In a sense it is frustrating but we know we are improving," said captain Shakib Al Hasan.
With the second Test, in Manchester, starting on Friday, neither side has much time for reflection. England, however, have delayed announcing their squad until this morning, suggesting there could be some concern over the form of Tim Bresnan or the fitness of Matt Prior who damaged a finger while keeping wicket at Lord's.
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