Finn ready for recall
Steven Finn is desperate for the chance to replace Stuart Broad as England look to end their four-Test losing streak from Tuesday in Colombo.
Broad’s reliable new-ball partnership with James Anderson, as well as his ability to provide a strong batting option at number eight, has been crucial to England's plans in a challenging winter.
Finn possesses the pace and wicket-taking threat to step into his shoes, but lacks the lower-order runs. Another option is Tim Bresnan, who is economical and at least Broad's equal with the bat.
Each has their champions, while a rebalancing of the side could see both play, but Finn is simply focused on showing he is ready if he does get the nod.
"Broady is a massive part of the team and will be missed. He's a huge and important player for us but we've got a group of guys waiting in the wings who can cover for him," said Finn, whose last Test appearance came when Sri Lanka drew with England at Lord's in June.
"We don't know who is going to play, but if I get my opportunity I'm ready to take it. It will be testing in these conditions for seam bowlers but I like a challenge.
"I have felt as though I have been ready for a little while now. I have done a lot of bowling this winter and a lot of work on becoming a better bowler. Hopefully I can reap the rewards of that if I get a chance."
A talent like Finn, who has 50 wickets in just 12 Tests, would have likely played more for his country by now in years gone by, but England have an enviable stock of fast bowlers at present.
Anderson and Broad are the established first choice but Finn, Bresnan and Chris Tremlett have each excelled when called on to supplement the pair.
Finn, 22, accepts it can be tough with so many strong contenders for selection but believes it is important for England to have such options.
"When you have the ups and downs of being in the mix but not playing you can feel down pretty quickly, but it's a team game and we need to have a strong squad," he said.
"We have to be able to compensate for injuries as we'll have to in this next Test match. All I can do as a back-up player is to be ready when the opportunity comes.
"No-one thinks their place is guaranteed and that's the thing about playing in a good team. You have enough players waiting to step into your position if you don't perform as I've found out in the past.
"If I get a chance in this game hopefully I can push a case to get a slot for the long term. No-one is complacent and everyone is working very hard."
Finn also expressed sympathy for Broad, whose calf injury is the latest in a series of fitness issues including ankle, shoulder and stomach problems.
"As a fast bowler you have to put your body under pressure all the time," he said.
"Broad has played in all formats for a long time now and maybe it has caught up with him a little. The schedule is very hectic at times, but that's part and parcel of being a fast bowler."