Middlesex skipper Adam Voges is tipping county team-mate Steven Finn to be part of the England selection shake-up for this winter’s Ashes tour to Australia after bowling the county to the brink of Division One safety in the Specsavers County Championship this week.
Finn returned his best bowling figures at Lord’s of eight for 79 to help sweep Middlesex to a vital Championship win over Lancashire prompting Voges to promote Finn’s Ashes claims.
Voges, who won the last of his 20 Baggy Green caps for Australia last November, said Finn is finding his best form at just the right time.
“Steven bowled as well as I’ve ever seen him bowl in a game of cricket,” said the Western Australian. “We were two bowlers down with Toby Roland-Jones and Ollie Rayner off the park with side strains, so for Finny to stand up and lead our attack the way he did was magnificent. He had rhythm, his pace was up, and his areas were good.
“There was enough in the wicket that if you put it in those good areas you’d get something out of it and I think he did that consistently well. I asked him to bowl a lot of overs, and he did that too. He did phenomenally well.”
England travel to Australia in November for five Tests and five ODIs against the old enemy, followed by a T20 tri-nations series involving New Zealand and Australia from February. And, after taking his first five-wicket Championship return in three years, Finn hopes he is mounting his push for Ashes selection.
The 6ft 7ins paceman said: “I felt that I bowled consistently and that my pace was there for most of this game. I’m content with where my game’s at so it’s really up to the selectors now to see who goes Down Under.
“It’s an exciting prospect to be in the mix. I’ve got experience of playing in Australia, both in ODIs and Tests, and those experiences have been good and bad, so I’d like to think I would add to whatever group of players go down there.”
Closer to home, Middlesex look set to travel to Taunton for Monday’s start to the final round of County Championship matches without the injured Roland-Jones and Rayner.
"Steven bowled as well as I’ve ever seen him bowl."
A West Country win over Somerset would ensure the side’s Division One survival, but Voges is expecting no favours from their fellow strugglers as the relegation dogfight enters the finishing straight.
Voges said: “We’ve had some tricky wickets to bat on during the back end to this season and it’s been tough work for our batting group, but we’ll stick together and prepare hard for Taunton. There’s another game to go, we’re aware of that and fully understand what we need to do.”