Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Steven Finn latest victim of England Ashes hype machine

A battling Bangladesh side, who showed they are rapidly improving as a Test outfit, were eventually defeated by England on the final day at Lord's.

The eight wicket win hides the fact that England's bowlers were made to toil for much of the game, with the decision to only field four strike bowlers brought into question.

However, the biggest positive to come out of the game was the performance of paceman Steve Finn, who was the standout bowler of the match, claiming 5-87 in the second innings to achieve match figures of 9 for 187.

The 21-year-old is 6"7', so is clearly earmarked for a key role on the hard, bouncy pitches of Australia next winter. His huge frame and solid action mean he will be able to achieve plenty of pace and bounce, something our often swing dominated attack has failed to do in recent excursions down under. The Ashes betting will make England second favourites for the contest, so they will need some special performances to pull off a win.

But Finn also displayed encouraging versatility - sensibly slowing his action down on the final morning in order to take advantage of the extra swing and movement the cloud cover above Lord's would bring. The Test series odds always suggested Bangladesh would be defeated, but Finn did well to ensure this happened.

Like any young player in this country who displays even a glimpse of potential a series of sensational headlines soon splurge out from the newsstands. Some of the articles regarding the Middlesex bowler have compared him to Glen McGrath and Curtly Ambrose.

I don't think I need to tell you that Finn is not at the level of those all-time greats, few Englishmen have ever got close to their sky-high standards.
But given the figures he has achieved so far, plus the maturity he displays on and off the field, he is certainly a great talent to be nurtured and one that is one the right track. He's definitely one to watch this summer.