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Finn aiming to rediscover Midas touch

Steven Finn is on a retrieval mission to rediscover his best form at the start of the Ashes.

Finn is battling with Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin to be England's third seamer for the opening Test in Brisbane next week.

Once it was clear Bresnan's stress fracture of the back would prevent him playing a full part in the Ashes, England's selectors set out their stall by naming three 6ft 7ins-plus bowlers in their squad to make the most of the expected bouncy pitches Down Under.

Finn has not bowled for England in a Test match since Alastair Cook took him out of the attack as Australia threatened an unlikely victory in last summer's Ashes opener at Trent Bridge.

But the 24-year-old may still edge the vote ahead of his fellow giants Tremlett, such a success here three years ago but often beset by injury in the intervening time, and the uncapped Rankin.

Finn did not shine in England's first tour match in Perth two weeks ago – none of the tall trio did in unhelpful conditions – when he recorded match figures of 3-176, and knows much better will be required if selected against an Australia Invitational XI at the SCG from tomorrow.

"Perth wasn't ideal for me; I didn't bowl particularly well. But I thought I got better as the game went on,” he said. “I've had some good nets since then ... it's just about transferring that into the middle.”

Tremlett, rather than Finn, was included in last week's four-day fixture against Australia A - and there can be little between the two, for the last bowling berth.

To win the race, Finn knows he needs to show his mettle again.

"It's no good being a net bowler that gets everyone out there, and then cannot get a wicket in the game,” he added.

“It's not about using it all up in the nets. You want it all to happen out in the middle. Ideally, the middle is a combination of the work you do in the nets.”

Finn concedes he did not prove in Perth that he is yet close to his best.

"Going at five an over, still, in the second innings wasn't great,” he admitted. "But actually ... I was much happier.

“That (performance) wasn't ideal for me. But I've put that under the carpet now; I've moved on and hope I've learned from that.

“I'm still a little bit of a way off. The proof of the pudding will be performances in the middle.”

It is hard to argue with a consensus that Finn, so impressive at times and still a young man even in fast-bowler's terms, has encountered a blip.

But he added: “I'm happy with where I'm going. I was probably a bit confused about nine months ago, halfway through the New Zealand tour, as to what I was doing.

“But I've got real clarity in what I want to do. I'm very settled in what I want to do and the way I want to go about it.

“Obviously, I'd rather not go at five an over. The plan is to try to go at under three, and build pressure and get wickets that way.”

That, he knows, is how he will win back his Test place for good.

He said: “I've been around a little while now – and obviously, in an ideal world, I'd have cemented that (Test) spot by now.

“It's not happened, but I feel as though I'm working towards that, trying to get back into that team.

“If I get an opportunity to bowl a lot on this game, I have to put down a marker to be selected for that first Test.”

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