Finn keen to keep Test spot
Steven Finn seized his chance to impress in the opening npower Test against Bangladesh - and is determined not to relinquish his place in the team ahead of this winter's Ashes.
The 21-year-old was playing at Lord’s only because Stuart Broad was rested, having also filled in for James Anderson during the tour of Bangladesh in March.
Finn admits he remains some way down the reckoning despite his match haul of 9-187 in the first Test of the summer, although there is a growing number of observers who believe he is a certainty to go to Australia.
While Finn admits he would love to play a part in the Ashes, he knows the best way to do so if by sheer weight of wickets beforehand.
“There is a lot of hard work for me because there are guys to come back in who are ahead of me in the pecking order,” he said, having collected the match award and numerous plaudits.
“If I keep taking wickets, my name will be there or thereabouts, but it’ll be a lot of hard work.
“I’m not going to kid myself; I’ve had fun in this Test match and I’m loving playing for my country at the moment.
“But fundamentally, it’s up to me to make it difficult for the selectors to drop me - whether I do that playing for England or through consistent performances for Middlesex throughout the season.”
The second and final Test of the series begins on Friday at Old Trafford, with Finn predictably keeping his place in a 12-man squad that sees Ryan Sidebottom replace the injured Tim Bresnan.
Finn can expect more assistance from a pitch that has offered pace and bounce to the quicker bowlers this season.
“Of course Old Trafford appeals to me - after playing in Bangladesh and a relatively slow wicket out here,” he confirmed.
Andrew Strauss agreed that Finn’s 6ft 7in frame - and his ability to extract extra bounce in particular - may be ideally suited to Australian surfaces traditionally offering swing bowlers little assistance.
He said: “If you look at bowlers who take wickets in Australia, those kind of heavy hit-the-deck bowlers tend to do well - Glenn McGrath had a reasonable career there.
“But Finny’s right - there is a lot of water under the bridge before then.
“I hope we’ll have a full complement of bowlers to pick from - with the likes of Stuart Broad and Graham Onions to come back. Everyone will be jostling for position, which is a healthy thing for the side.”