(Photo: Getty Images)
By Chris Stocks
Steven Finn is confident he can put his nightmare 2013-14 Ashes tour behind him and concentrate on helping England win in Australia this winter after being called into the squad at the 11th hour.
The Middlesex fast bowler suffered a scare last Thursday when he injured his left knee batting in the nets in Perth.
Despite being ruled out of England’s first tour match against a Western Australia XI starting tomorrow, Finn will look to make an impression during this tour after he was drafted in to cover the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Injury permitting, Finn will be competing with Craig Overton and Jake Ball for the fourth seamer slot in England’s Ashes XI.
The 28-year-old has experience on his side having been on two previous Ashes tours. They, though, offered very different experiences.
Finn took 14 wickets in three Tests during his country’s victorious 2010-11 campaign Down Under. Four years later he was sent home and deemed “unselectable” by then ODI coach Ashley Giles after playing no part in England’s dismal 5-0 Ashes defeat.
Now he is accentuating the positive, even if his early injury scare has seen him start this tour in the worst possible fashion.
Finn said: “It’s easy to be caught up in the negatives but I’ve had a lot of positive experiences over here so it’s about making sure you focus as much as you can on those.
“To be honest, last time when I was down here in 2013-14 I understand where I went wrong. I was searching for things that weren’t actually there and you go back to the drawing board and realise what makes you a good bowler. I’m confident if I’m given the nod at any stage in this series I will do a good job for the team.”
The usually mild-mannered Finn is not easily angered but talk of that comment from Giles four years ago touches a nerve. “It happened,” he said. “I’m a lot older now and to be honest I’m getting pretty bored and sick of talking about it.
“I’ve played in an Ashes series, got man of the match in an Ashes Test, won an Ashes series, played down here since then, so I think any psychological scars that people wanted to talk about I’ve pretty well proved there’s nothing there. So it’s getting quite boring talking about it.
“I know if I bowl to the top of my ability and I get an opportunity in this series I can do myself justice.”
*This article originally featured in The Cricket Paper’s 3 November 2017 edition. Subscribe: www.bit.ly/TCP-Sub