Australia Must Underestimate Finn At Their Own Peril

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Cricket
Tags: , , ,

It’s that time again where the pre-Ashes slanging match gets under way, with the battle for the most famous urn in the world set to get under way in three months time.

With the first test set to start on the 25th of November, Shane Watson was the first in to take a shot at England, with Stephen Finn the subject of his attentions.

Finn should really take this as a compliment, as this has shown that Australia fear his abilities enough to attempt their mind games on the youngster.

Aged just 21, Finn is possibly the most exciting prospect to appear in the bowling department for England in a long time.

Measuring up at 6 ft 8”, Finn is England’s tallest ever player, giving a different trajectory and angle from which to propel the ball at the men holding the willow at the other end.

Finn compliments the more swing-orientated pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad perfectly, with bouncers and raw pace causing problems for all batsmen he has faced.

28 wickets from his first seven tests is a record that speaks for itself, including the last test against Pakistan being a fruitless effort. These happen to everyone though.

This series has been the defining one to see how Finn holds up on the international scene, as with all due respect, Bangladesh aren’t exactly the yardstick on which to measure one’s ability.

Whilst Pakistan’s batting line-up has also been criticised as being weak and inexperienced, the likes of Salman Butt and co still have a number of tests under their collective belts and his first-test devastation alongside Anderson was mightily impressive for a rookie.

His economy figures have looked rather good as well, so he’s not for the taking of any batsman.

A mature head has also appeared on his shoulders, given his swatting away of Watson’s little barbs, as he knows he still needs to deliver and ensure his plane ticket Down Under.

It shows he can be trusted to deal with the Aussies’ famous sledging and mind-games. On a tour where mental strength will be just as important as actual ability, his cool head could be a valuable commodity amongst the hostile reception England will no doubt receive.

We can’t pretend Finn is the finished article and expectation for him to be so at such a young age would be foolish.

There are a few things that could be improved, but he offers a potent weapon in the bowling attack and it would be detrimental to his development to overlook him for the upcoming Ashes, even if he doesn’t play every test.

If Shane Watson wants to see him as a weak link, that is his choice. They could be words he regrets by the time the New Year rolls around.

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Comments
  1. dtwles says:

    Good article Sam and without wishing to invite pressure on Finn, I completely agree that he is key to our chances of retaining the Ashes. The Australians have a terrific record in Brisbane, venue for the 1st test, having won every test played there since 2003. Bowlers with pace have fared well at Brisbane (particularly Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee) so you’d hope there was something in the wicket for Finn. He is also a bit of an unknown quantity for the Australians and you’d hope that this may help him in the same way as Simon Jones (in 2005) and Monty (2006/7).

  2. Chris H says:

    Good read as always!

    All this can only play into Finn’s hands, as he can’t disappoint. I’d love it to see Watson eat those words!

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