Finn seeks strong Lions showing
England Lions seamer Steven Finn hopes he can use this week’s clash with the touring Sri Lankans as a platform to show that he has improved markedly as a bowler.
Finn has enjoyed a productive start to the county campaign, taking 16 wickets in four LV= County Championship matches for Middlesex, but has stressed the need for consistency this season.
The 22-year-old helped England retain the Ashes over the winter, although he was dropped after the third Test in Perth despite being the leading wicket-taker in the series up to that point.
Finn admitted he was unhappy with the number of runs he conceded in Australia and is determined to put that right against the Sri Lankans, who will be playing the second match of their tour ahead of next week’s first npower Test.
He told ecb.co.uk: “It’s going to be an opportunity for all 11 blokes who play in that game to show what they’ve got against a full-strength international team so I’m thoroughly looking forward to going and playing against Sri Lanka.
“Hopefully, I can prove that the lessons I’ve learned from the winter, the improvements that I’ve made in the early season for Middlesex. Hopefully I can put that into practice in this game.
“Consistency is a massive thing I needed to work on. Having took wickets but have leaked runs more than I would have wanted to (in Australia) was disappointing but I have to learn from it.
“I’m not going to dwell on the past; what’s happened has happened and it’s important that I move forward now and make those improvements and try and show that I’ve learned from the mistakes and why I got left out of the team.
“I’m never satisfied with what I’ve done; yes it was great to take wickets but I was too expensive.
“I was disappointed with the way that Australia went personally. For the team, it was fantastic and to be part of that team was amazing and I’ll cherish that forever.”
Finn will form a pace quartet alongside Graham Onions, Jade Dernbach and Ajmal Shahzad at Derby, all of whom will be hoping to make a case for a starting spot in the senior team.
And Finn believes the encounter will be the ideal opportunity to show off their abilities.
He said: “It’s going to be a good way for us four fast bowlers to hopefully work over the Sri Lankan battling line-up and make life hard for them.
“It’s going to have dual purpose. I think the most important thing is we make life hard for the Sri Lankans and welcome them to England with a bang and say that life’s going to be hard over here for you during that three-match Test series, regardless of whether us guys play in that Test series or not.
“From a personal point of view, to have the chance to take wickets against the Sri Lankan top-order and their batting line-up is going to be a great opportunity for me to see where my development has come along since the end of the Ashes.”
Finn was coy when asked about his chances of regaining a senior England place but revealed it has been difficult watching from the sidelines.
“I think everyone who is in this Lions team is going to be close,” he said. “The Test team is pretty settled at the moment but we’re fighting to be the next in line and it’s going to be a great showcase for the upcoming seam bowling options.
“It’s tough watching when you’ve been part of a side for 12 months and then to sit back and watch from the sidelines. It’s strange watching from the outside when you know what’s going on behind the scenes.”
On his start to the season, Finn added: “I haven’t had those big wicket hauls that I maybe would have liked at this stage of the season but it’s important that I plugging away, keep being consistent and not chasing those big wicket hauls and hopefully they’ll come.
“It’s important that I do the processes that I think are going to make me a good bowler and make me a better bowler, put those into practice and hopefully the wickets and higher stuff will come from that.”