Finn relishing leading role
Steven Finn is enjoying the responsibility of again leading England’s attack in a one-day series in India and hopes he has found the rhythm to match his returns in his last format rubber there.
In October 2011 Finn shared the new ball with Tim Bresnan and shone in taking eight wickets, albeit as the tourists lost 5-0.
Having recovered from a disc strain in his lower back and a thigh strain that ruled him out of three of the four Tests with India late last year, Finn has returned to full fitness for these five one-day internationals.
The 23-year-old fast bowler went wicketless in the two warm-up games but returned 1-63 at Rajkot and 2-51 yesterday in Kochi.
“I'm happy with how it's going; I'm obviously happier with my figures yesterday than I was in Rajkot,” he said. “I've felt in good rhythm in the last couple of games.
“It probably took me a little bit longer than I had expected to get back into my rhythm after having the two injuries before Christmas, but I've enjoyed having to front up and open the bowling - it's something that I enjoy doing and I feel as though I've managed ok so far.
“There's always room for improvement and I'm always looking to improve, but I've really enjoyed doing it.”
While Finn is less satisfied with his bowling in Rajkot, it came in a nine-run England win whereas his improved display was during a 127-run loss.
“We're one-all in this series; we played some exceptional cricket in the first game,” he added.
“There were a few areas yesterday where we fell slightly short of the standards we set ourselves, but that's one-day international cricket. That's the way it goes sometimes, so we'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we'll be ready for them in the next ODI.”
Yesterday Finn and Jade Dernbach took advantage of early seam movement to respectively bowl opening batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir.
England’s bowlers continued to tie down India until Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja cut loose in the last eight overs, which yielded 95 runs.
“Yesterday the wicket suited us early on,” Finn said. “There was a little bit of nip there; we managed to exploit it and get two early wickets. It's a shame we didn't make more inroads close after that, but we were happy. In those first 42 overs I thought we bowled exceptionally well.
“We know what to expect. We don't think there's any use of having the attitude that it's difficult for seam bowlers over here. We have to find a way that can make us effective in these conditions, and for 42 overs we were very effective yesterday.
“We just need to find a way of getting better at the end. It's something we've been good at in the past. We've had one poor game in that aspect but I'm sure we'll pick ourselves up.”
Dhoni’s powerful 72 and Jadeja’s 37-ball 61 brought a capacity crowd at a sun-baked Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to fever pitch, something Finn has come to associate with limited-overs cricket in India.
“It is something you don't experience anywhere else in the world and to be able to come here and have this many people so passionate about the game that you're playing, and so many people in the grounds watching it ... That atmosphere last night was like nothing you'll get in any other sporting event in the world, anywhere,” he said.
“It was a phenomenal thing to be a part of and it's a real shame that we didn't win, but we're one-all in the series and moving forward to the next game I'm sure everyone is going to be keen to show all these people here, who are so passionate, what we can do.”