He started out to be the prodigal son for England when he made his test debut way back in 2010. Since then, Steven Finn’s career graph has swerved quite sharply with innumerable digressions marking his trajectory.
His exclusion from the English squad for the third Ashes test makes a pointed statement about the latest setback to hit him professionally. More specifically, considering the team’s preference to opt to recall Chris Tremlett rather than sticking with him for yet another test.
But the scenario isn’t exactly one-sided as it seems. Finn’s inclusion in the first test at Trent Bridge didn’t see him doing much for his team except for a brief looming spell in the first innings. He continued to be mediocre in the second innings to the point of being costly. The closeness of the Australian defeat in the first test hammered home – yet again – Finn’s mediocrity, compounded with the fact that he went wicketless even as the rest of the English bowling went about their wicket-taking business.
Understandably then, Finn was overlooked for the second test with Bresnan making his way into the team. When compared with the hugeness of the defeat that the English bowlers wrecked upon the Australians in the second test, dropping Finn completely from the English Ashes squad then only seems prudent.
If the first test was merely a testing of the waters by the English team so to speak, by the end of the second test, thanks to their impeccable bowling efforts, giving Finn yet another window of opportunity seems more like coming up with a course of action that’s largely redundant. With Old Trafford known widely for its spinner-friendly track, the existing cohesion of the English bowling order looks well-suited to do well at Manchester.
Finn, then in all likelihood, wouldn’t be greatly missed even though his Ashes inclusion did speak a lot for the youngster’s promise and talent before the start of the series. But even though the English team wouldn’t mind Finn’s absence in the present, this exclusion couldn’t have come at a more well-timed juncture.
As it so happens, even though statistics and numbers favour Finn, there have been quite a few issues that have wrecked havoc on his inherent cricketing acumen. Alterations to his run-up, delivery motion and his troubling action of inadvertently rattling the bails during his delivery have not only hampered Finn’s naturalness on field, but in many ways, are also the responsible factors for his nondescript performance and then his resultant less-than-favourable exclusion from the English team.
His exclusion then allows Finn a well-needed respite to regroup and come out stronger and better and possibly, even dangerous than before. Focusing on county cricket would allow him to gain the necessary confidence that seems to be missing – vitally – from his game, thus giving him another chance to make yet another foray into the English test squad; this time, definitely for a longer run.