The England fast bowler Steven Finn has admitted that work on his action had felt like “banging his head against a brick wall” as he prepared to leave England’s troubled tour of Australia.
The Middlesex paceman was not selected for any of the Ashes Tests as England surrendered the urn with a 5-0 whitewash and was then left out of the opening one-day international as the tourists went down to a humbling six-wicket defeat.
In the aftermath of that loss the limited-overs coach, Ashley Giles, announced that Finn would be returning home as he was “not selectable” owing to technical problems with his bowling action.
The Middlesex director of cricket, Angus Fraser, who said he would be applying to become an England selector on a part-time basis, will work with Finn to help him “fall back in love with bowling”.
Finn said he had had a torrid time Down Under. “I’ve worked very hard on this tour. I’ve put lots and lots of hours of work in to try to make my bowling action right and I arrived on the tour very confident that I could play a full part in the Ashes series.
“As the series went on and as we moved into the one-day leg of the tour, it’s clear that there are a couple of technical issues that I need to address.
“The decision was made by Ashley and Angus Fraser, a liaison between the two of them and people higher above. And going home and working on these aspects of my game would be the best place for me to do it, to get away from cricket for a couple of weeks because, at times, it’s felt like I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall, trying to make it right and trying to prepare to play.
“To take myself out of this environment, a competitive environment, to get myself back to Middlesex and work with people that I’ve worked with for a long time before, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Despite his recent problems in the nets, Finn does not feel he is a long way from getting back to his best and, although he admits it is tough for him to leave the tour, he believes it is the best thing for him at the moment.
“There’s times on this trip where it’s felt like it’s so close to clicking, even as recently as a couple of days ago bowling in the nets before the Prime Minister’s XI game, I bowled nicely,” he added.
“I bowled with decent pace, I bowled quite consistently, but it’s the infrequency with which that’s happened that’s probably a little bit of the reason for me going home.
“It’s close to clicking and it’s not far away and I actually don’t think it’s going to take too much to get me back to where I want to be.”
On Fraser’s assertion that he needs to rediscover his passion for bowling, Finn said: “I do love the game but at times it’s been hard to love it and that’s a contributory factor.
“It’s tough for me to leave this tour,” he added. “I’m upset that I’m leaving the tour because I want to be out here helping England win games of cricket, and I’m sure the lads will do well in this one-day series and this Twenty20 series because we’ve got some great players.
“I’m gutted that I’m not part of that but I think it’s best for me that I go home now.”