Finn progress earns Miller recognition
National selector Geoff Miller explained Steven Finn’s inclusion in England’s squad for the first npower Test against Sri Lanka was reward for the paceman’s problem solving since last winter’s Ashes.
Finn is in a 12-man party named yesterday for the game at Cardiff, starting on Thursday. Should the 22-year-old play, it will be his first Test since being dropped after the third match of the Ashes series - at Perth.
Finn was the leading wicket-taker in the rubber at that point, but he proved expensive in England’s defeat at the WACA with his 36 overs costing 183 runs - although yielding five wickets.
Having been a spectator as the tourists won the remaining Tests at Melbourne and Sydney and been involved in three of the seven subsequent one-day internationals against Australia, he worked hard on consistency back home with Middlesex.
A steady start to the domestic season then convinced the selectors to name him ahead of another Ashes tourist in Ajmal Shahzad.
Recalling Finn’s struggles in Australia, Miller said: “There was a strength problem, a fatigue problem and also a technical problem - but he came back and worked really hard on them. What’s good is that he appreciates it and has gone away and worked on them.”
Tim Bresnan’s torn calf muscle opened the way for Finn’s inclusion yesterday and Miller reflected on a variety of strong pace options, including Graham Onions and Jade Dernbach - who took a career-best nine-wicket match haul in the Lions' 38-run defeat to Sri Lanka at Derby.
“Our depth of seam bowling is quite exciting, not just from the point of view of one-day cricket as well. We have started to develop a real good batch of bowlers,” Miller added. “The depth is there to have a rotation policy. You’ve got to make sure the depth you have is of international quality.
“You can’t be bringing (someone) into the side that becomes detrimental to your performance. How you find that is in matches like the Lions.”