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Finn outbowls England team-mates on home debut

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Oliver Brett | 19:51 UK time, Friday, 28 May 2010

Although it is a risky business talking about bookmakers in conjunction with cricket at the moment, it would be no great surprise if one or two lengthened their odds about England retaining the Ashes following a very moderate day's work against Bangladesh on Friday.

But if there was a saving grace it came in the shape of Steven Finn, playing his first Test on home soil and providing the only wicket to fall to an England bowler as Bangladesh - at times nonchalantly, at times fortuitously - reached 172-2.

Steven Finn

Prior to Thursday, the last time three Middlesex players had appeared in the same Test side was in 1998. Angus Fraser was one of them, and it is interesting to observe that Finn also possesses some of Fraser's attributes.

A 17-pace run-up - expect that to shorten in time - has Finn arriving at the crease with no great acceleration, and the position of the arms just before delivery is very reminiscent of Fraser, who coincidentally is his county coach.

Another bowler who did much of his best work in the 1990s, a certain Glenn McGrath, is also brought to mind. Finn would be pleased to hear that as he talks about the great Australian as his cricketing idol.

Finn only turned 21 in April and any fast bowler his age has a lot of maturing still to do. At 6ft 8in he is exceptionally tall, the same height as Joel Garner, but he certainly does not make the same use of that height as "Big Bird" once did.

He even has three inches on Steve Harmison, but given that Harmison at his peak (more than 90mph) is certainly quicker than Finn (about 86mph) the likelihood is that the new face in the England attack will not necessarily terrorise opposition batsmen with venomous deliveries.

There was quite a lot that did not go in Finn's favour when he bowled his first spell in a Test in England. Andrew Strauss had denied him both the new ball and his choice of ends, a fairly important factor given the issue of the Lord's slope.

His first four overs were thus delivered from the Nursery End in the run-up to tea, and by then Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes had got over any stage fright they may have had. All the same, Finn did beat the bat a few times, and that augured well for his longer second spell from his favoured Pavilion End.

After a terrific first over with the MCC members behind him - Junaid Siddique was beaten by one ball, edged the next over gully's head and then got an inside edge onto his pads - expectation was raised.

In his fourth over, Finn beat Imrul Kayes twice. Surely he would strike soon.

And then he did just that, finding an awkward shortish length, cramping Kayes for room, and forcing the left-hander to splice the ball up into the grateful hands of skipper Strauss at slip.

In all Finn got through eight overs in his spell, and frequently asked plenty of questions of the batsmen. One might even say he deserved more than one wicket.

What was beyond doubt was that he bowled much better than both Tim Bresnan and James Anderson.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Bresnan had a 'mare. Jimmy didn't bowl too horrendously. He is very much a rhythm man and he was saying recently that acting as water boy during the T20 meant he felt a bit behind everyone else. But Bres... he didn't look like he knew what his role was. He bowled a little like Stuart Broad did in spells early on last year when he didn't know what his role was: a bit erratic, trying a bit too hard possibly.

    Finn is an interesting guy to watch with the ball. He hasn't got much of a jump in his action compared to the like of Brett Lee, Allan Donald, or Harmison. It's quite a fluid action so I hope he doesn't get tinkered with too much.

    In the second innings, I'd like to see Anderson and Finn with the new ball. The swinger and the tall man make for an interesting combination. What today has shown already is that the 'five bowlers' argument for Australia is looking more compelling.

  • Comment number 2.

    Andy - both Anderson and Finn favour the Pavilion End. Who gets it? And yes, the idea of Bresnan being part of a four-man bowling attack for the Ashes is a bit frightening. I thought we were crying out for Onions today

  • Comment number 3.

    onions will be a big miss this summer, he bowled very well, in the ashes, and in SA, didnt get the wickets he deserved.

    our bowling attack suddenly looks very thin, i agree bresnan for me isnt a test match cricketer, he could be in 5 man attack, impressed with finn though looks promising.

  • Comment number 4.

    No, this doesn't make a "compelling argument" for five bowlers down under, 0-5 makes all the case that needs to be against that as England's batting fell apart in 06/07.

    The argument is limited on face value, it is not the quantity but the QUALITY of the bowlers picked and Finn is too inexperienced, Bresnan is not good enough and Anderson is too hit and miss. Broad is being rested but his inclusion is questionable too, England are desperately short of quality bowlers.

    But the batting was the real let down, about 44% of the runs from one batsman and from Pietersen down to Swann scored 18, 17, 44, 16, 25 and 22 so all got starts and didn't go on. Of course that makes another argument against five bowlers, a lower order of Prior, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson and Onions (say) might look decent and worth a few runs, but it won't to the aussies. That will look like Christmas come early, only takes the England top order to have one of their wobbles and we could easily be 0-2 down after two Tests.

    I don't doubt this won't put to bed the ridiculous suggestion that England should play five bowlers, but it should :

    06/07 ENG vs AUS (ENG INNS ONLY)

    1st Test - 157 & 370
    2nd Test - 551/6d & 129
    3rd Test - 215 & 350
    4th Test - 159 & 161
    5th Test - 291 & 147

    Flintoff played all five Tests as part of a five pronged attack which had no chance because there weren't enough runs on the board - most of the time. The one exception was the declaration which wasn't why England lost, they lost because of a crucial dropped catch and poor batting second time around.

    Three scores over 300, but FIVE scores under 170 in that series says it all. That was with Flintoff in the side, sure Prior looks a more accomplished batsman than Jones/Read and same goes for Swann over Giles/Panesar, but to win Tests we need to put big runs on the board so our bowlers can take advantage of pressure. Anyone thinking it will be different side, different story, should consider Strauss, Cook, Bell, Pietersen and Collingwood made up the top five as it might well have done had Collingwood not been rested here.

    England need to find three good quicks to back up Swann and make most of a top six batting order with Prior at seven. To go down under with five bowlers would be suicide. Fast-tracking Finn may appear to be working against the lowest rank (active) Test side, but the aussies will target him and crush him. Anderson, Broad and Bresnan would probably be made to look like mediocre net bowlers, not even sure Swann won't get a caning. I think we could win the Ashes down under, but it will take something ingenious to do it in terms of bowling selections and them paying dividends. We take Anderson, Onions, Broad, Bresnan and Finn then I can see another whitewash looming.

    Taking solace from Finn outbowling those England bowlers on show today is scraping the barrel

  • Comment number 5.

    First off credit to Bangladesh, their coach wanted them to cut out the "school boy errors" and they were a lot better in the field today, they bowled tighter linges and were nippier when it mattered. Very little of the "all you can eat bufet bowling" of yesterday.

    The problem with playing Bangladesh is that winning is not enough, you have to thrash them to even get a "job done" pat on the back by the media. And in my mind the media played a big part in the winter tests and this one. People need to remember the winter tests were no walk over, and also that we are currently resting 2 key players.

    That said, too many England batters went out believing the media hype that Bangladesh can't bowl and were found out, they can take advantage of loose shots as well as anyone when they try, and today they tried.

    The same can be said of our bowlers who started getting frustrated when they got to 50 without loosing a wicket, they were playing like it was a 1 dayer and were getting lucky with some very streaky shots, a bit more concerntration and application would have reaped rewards, instead Strauss showed once again why I think he's a poor captain with the lines he asked his bowlers to bowl.

    England were, in my view underminded today by the expectation of the press and former player pundits expecting a declaration of between 500 - 700, Trott to get a tripple centurary and Bangladesh to be at least 5 wickets down by close, and by their own arrogance. Hopefully it'll be lesson learnt, knuckle down and some hard graft will bring rewards tomorrow.

    One more point, to Aggers and co questioning Morgans "suitbility for test cricket" after his out today, I guess that means that Cook, KP and Bell are also unsuitable as they scored less and with the exception of Cook got themselves out, Strauss also got himself out so maybe we should drop him too! If Morgan is in the team he's going to get out playing stupid shots like KP on occasion, the only question is, do we need two of that type of player? That doesn't mean either is unsuitable, and to suggest it does, is, in my view, increadably rude.

  • Comment number 6.

    Am I the only one one who looks at the England bowlers and sees trundlers? I have always been of the opinion that Anderson would not be first choice for any of the top Test Nations and (in my opinion) if he is the number one England bowler then God help England!

  • Comment number 7.

    Finn-very good and whats better is improving.Anderson and Bresnan look jaded against what is meant to be a second class side.We need some better quick bowlers than whats on offer.Broad will come back when rested as will Collingwood but whats the matter with Cook? He appears to be going into reverse again.Bell was his usual self either brilliant or rubbish.Pieterson was still playing one day stuff as was Morgan.Strauss looked pretty detached which isnt surprising really,although he played well.Swann looked a bit jaded but will come good later on.Prior is solid enough but regretfully he will never match Keiswetter as a batsman or keeper and the sooner Keiswetter is brought into the side the better.That lad is destined to play test cricket.Who knows there maybe room for both?Trott was at his boring best but thats what he does well and long may he do it-at least he didnt throw his wicket away.On this wicket England could have made 700 in quick time but credit where its due Bangladesh played very well and deserved their position at the end of day two.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sidebottom is a better man to have in the England than Anderson!

  • Comment number 9.

    I have read a few comments about the fact Finn outbowled the other bowlers being "scraping the barrels". Personally, I agree.

    5 bowlers is a system used to give the team the best chance of getting 20 wickets in the game. Although it has now been tweaked by England to be a couple of good bowlers with a couple of filling, average bowlers - almost as if they want to be bowling at all times with a proper bowler despite their ability to take wickets. If they stood back and realised this is not T20 or 50 over cricket and that you are not working to a time limit then they will realise that your first concern must be taking the wicket and not how long or how many runs it takes you to get it.

    Pick your bowlers based on their ability to take wickets. 6 Batsmen, 1 Wicketkeeper/Batsmen, 4 Bowlers. This gives you 7 batsmen + Swann who has the ability to take games away from the opposition when you're looking to end your innings with a bang. I saw Bresnan opening the bowling today and saw him notch up to 88mph ish but he was bowling with a new ball and not moving it off the seam or in the air - you can give any county bowler (fast/med) a new ball and you will get into the high eighties. He just isn't good enough - he did quite well in the T20 but test match cricket isn't a end of year prize ceremony for school children - there is no prize for best improved.

    I say we play with our best 6 batsmen and our best 4 bowlers. If anyone disagrees with this choice I would be surprised:

    Strauss
    Cook
    Trott
    Pietersen
    Collingwood
    Bell
    Prior
    Swann
    Sidebottom
    Harmison
    Anderson

    Reasons for bowling selections:

    Australian trial by:

    Spin - Swann
    Swing - Anderson
    Bounce/Pace/Hostility - Harmison
    2ndary swing/left armer (something different) - Sidebottom

    All of the seamers bowl at 85mph + here and offer something different. No bases aren't covered in this bowling line up. I would have Collingwood to fill in overs alongside Swann and get Pietersen bowling more regularly - instead of bowling Bresnan as a test against Bangledesh use the match as a test for Pietersen and Collingwood to perfect their bowling. They are dead certs for November.

  • Comment number 10.

    Oliver:

    It's a tough one. Perhaps Anderson needs to be given the end he doesn't want. After all, Brearley made Bob Willis bowl uphill into the wind at Headingley in 1981 for a while and that worked out quite well! Hopefully tomorrow we'll get away from this idea that we can bounce the Bangladeshis out. It's not the first time England have gone on this short pitched rubbish plan and it's failed dismally.

    Sad to see the pro-Kieswetter pundits out already. Did these people not watch the catches he missed in the T20? Prior is a better wicketkeeper than Kieswetter. I still want Davies to play a part in England's plans this summer.


  • Comment number 11.



    Dear The Darkness Is Calling:


    What quality of bowling did we have in the Ashes in 2006-07? We had Hoggard, a rookie in Panesar, and a massively overworked Flintoff was our attack. Essentially we had a three man attack and then a crocked Giles who lasted two Tests, Harmison fell apart inside, James Anderson was coming back from a major back injury and was woefully undercooked, and Fletcher was having his 'I love Saj Mahmood' moment. At no point did we have a fully functional five man attack that was any good, totally different to 2005 where we did.


    I shall quote you here:


    --"I don't doubt this won't put to bed the ridiculous suggestion that England should play five bowlers, but it should :

    06/07 ENG vs AUS (ENG INNS ONLY)

    1st Test - 157 & 370
    2nd Test - 551/6d & 129
    3rd Test - 215 & 350
    4th Test - 159 & 161
    5th Test - 291 & 147"


    That doesn't tell the whole story. Take the 1st Test. Australia batted first and scored 600 runs over an attack where Harmison was going AWOL, Anderson wasn't fit, and Giles was unfit too (he played in the next Test and that proved to be his final Test for England). We had a side in that Test with unfit bowlers, the side was lacking good directional leadership from Vaughan, and we'd lost a senior batsman in the form of the unfortunate Trescothick before the Tests started. The whole England camp was in disarray. Using that series as evidence that five bowlers doesn't work is far from conclusive given the far bigger factors, principally the loss of experience in the form of Vaughan and Trescothick, and the lack of a fully fit and ready bowling attack. The 1st Test we chased leather from the start. The Third Test was the same the second time the Aussies batted (Gilchrist's speedy ton). By the time the 4th Test came, the Ashes were lost and everyone looked totally dead. You might want to go back and see the 1989 Ashes to see what happened. Similar story: Aussies batted a lot, we had poor bowlers, they racked up the runs, we couldn't match it. If you have good bowlers who take wickets, they reduce the runs you need to score to get ahead.

    "Fast-tracking Finn may appear to be working against the lowest rank (active) Test side, but the aussies will target him and crush him. Anderson, Broad and Bresnan would probably be made to look like mediocre net bowlers, not even sure Swann won't get a caning. I think we could win the Ashes down under, but it will take something ingenious to do it in terms of bowling selections and them paying dividends. We take Anderson, Onions, Broad, Bresnan and Finn then I can see another whitewash looming."


    Then what do you suggest? Everyone expected Australia to cane us over here but they didn't. This isn't the mighty Australian side of the past. They haven't got great bowlers to call upon. Indeed, for the second succesive Ashes series, the best spinner on display will be an English one as Swann is ahead of Hauritz and Steve Smith is a long way from being an outright Test spinner (his googly is so easy to pick, watch him drop that arm and bowl it almost roundarm!). Their pace attack will have a combination of newbies like Ryan Harris, returning injury victims in Hilfenhaus and Siddle, you wouldn't like to guess what state Mitchell Johnson's head will be in come the winter, and then Doug Bollinger.


    I don't disagree that a poor five man attack is daft. So is a poor nine man attack. A fully fit and firing five man attack is our best best down under because we simply don't have the ability that India and Australia have in terms of being able to bat sides out of the game. For some reason, we don't have that dominating mindset when it comes to the willow.



  • Comment number 12.

    Miles Champman:

    You'd go with four bowlers in:

    Swann
    Sidebottom
    Harmison
    Anderson

    Sidebottom has a wretched fitness record over the last couple of years. Anderson is ineffective if conditions don't give him a bit. Harmison suffered in Australia last time, hasn't played for England since the Ashes, and currently isn't in great form or rhythm for Durham, as Dale Benkenstein was quoted as saying in the national press. I don't see those three together as being any sort of strike force for England.

    Just pray they getting a turning wicket then!

  • Comment number 13.

    7. At 10:25pm on 28 May 2010, DIDYOUKNOW wrote:

    Prior is solid enough but regretfully he will never match Keiswetter as a batsman or keeper and the sooner Keiswetter is brought into the side the better.That lad is destined to play test cricket.

    ---

    Have you seen Kieswetter keep? Somerset fans say he's not good enough. Prior may have had some difficulties in the past, but his glove-work has been excellent over the past year. He deserves his place, and Davies should be next in line not Kieswetter.



    9. At 11:39pm on 28 May 2010, Miles Chapman wrote:

    I say we play with our best 6 batsmen and our best 4 bowlers. If anyone disagrees with this choice I would be surprised:

    Sidebottom
    Harmison

    ---

    I think you'll find many disagreeing.

    Sidebottom - outstanding in 2007-8. But he's not fit enough. It's rare that he manages to last a full series, and bowling four overs a game in a Twenty20 tournament does not change that.

    Harmison - has been rubbish for England for several years. Used to be one of the best in the world, but we keep bringing him back based on his past glories only for him to disappoint.

    The selectors have made absolutely the right decision in picking these two. It's 2010, not 2007, not 2004. We have to move on else we're setting ourselves up for a massive fall.

  • Comment number 14.

    Here we go again - more of the same from England's cricketers and more of the same lame attempts to either justify the performance of, or to try and find some positives from individual players. First though - well done to Bangladesh and I hope they avoid the follow on and at least gain a draw which would make the second Test a one-off series decider. Apart from Trott in the batting, England were poor. And Trott's style of batting and his cocooned, self-absorbed demeanour do not make for happy entertainment. And, I would far rather see an English County player in the side than South Africans, save for Pieterson and not because he is the only genuine world class batsman in the reckoning but he qualifies to play for England on a basis which is at least acceptable unlike the other two. This England side, especially minus Collingwood and Broad, inspires little confidence - on this eidence the Aussies will be rightly licking their lips for Brisbane and the whole series. Leave aside a worthy 20/20 win, and some terrific play by England, Test Cricket is still the deciding form of cricket, and once again in an Ashes year England look unimpressive and again, worringly, are still searching for a settled squad. I despair of the current administration and selection commitees, and have done for years - and last summers Ashes Series win was of very little overall consequence, The Aussies are getting ready and waiting and England must quickly settle on a settled team if only to then give them time to play as our Test team, not cobble the players together for the First Test in Brisbane.

  • Comment number 15.

    I don't doubt this won't put to bed the ridiculous suggestion that England should play five bowlers, but it should :

    06/07 ENG vs AUS (ENG INNS ONLY)

    1st Test - 157 & 370
    2nd Test - 551/6d & 129
    3rd Test - 215 & 350
    4th Test - 159 & 161
    5th Test - 291 & 147

    Flintoff played all five Tests as part of a five pronged attack which had no chance because there weren't enough runs on the board - most of the time. The one exception was the declaration which wasn't why England lost, they lost because of a crucial dropped catch and poor batting second time around.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Flintoff averages around 30 runs with the bat. A top class batsmen averages around 45. Thats 15 extra runs. Not the 200+ extra runs we needed.

    A 6th batsmen dosnt magically change those 1st innings scores of 157, 215, 159 and 291 into 450+ scores. If we had a batsmen so good that he could have scored 293 in the 1st test, 235 in the third test, 291 in the forth and 159 in the fifth (to make the scores into 450's) then Im sure he would have been picked as a batsmen in a 5-man lineup too! Even if said batsmen quacked out in the 2nd test and DNB in all of the second innings, he would have to average over 194 - thats almost twice what Bradman averaged, and im pretty sure someone *half* as good as Bradman would get into that England 5-man lineup, let alone someone TWICE as good!

    We played badly, Australia were up for it more than we were, we batted like headless chickens, and no swapping the 5th choice bowler for a 6th choice batsmen would have changed anything - it was the 1st to 5th choice batsmen and the 1st to 4th choice bowlers that wernt good enough.

  • Comment number 16.

    And, I would far rather see an English County player in the side than South Africans, save for Pieterson and not because he is the only genuine world class batsman in the reckoning but he qualifies to play for England on a basis which is at least acceptable unlike the other two.

    ---

    Who are the other two? One's Trott, whose the other? Trott qualified the same way for England as Pietersen, through an English mother, i.e. he's half-English and always has been.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well I was about to address some of the dafter comments:

    "The Darkness Is Calling": "the ridiculous suggestion that England should play five bowlers" - as suggested, for example, by England's most successful ever captain? Debatable, certainly, but ridiculous? Hardly...

    "Miles Chapman": "If anyone disagrees with this choice I would be surprised" - a four-man attack including Sidebottom and Harmison? Not even Stuart Broad? And you think no-one would disagree with that?

    "DIDYOUKNOW": Kieswetter's a better 'keeper than Prior?

    Anyway, AndyPlowright seems to be on the case, thankfully. I don't know who you are, sir, but you're a rare breed on these boards, in that you seems to have some sense.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why is it nearly every debate here or on 606 proper ends up with all this rubbish about Trott, KP etc not being English?

    Please just get over it - They qualify under the rules and they chose to play for England for whatever reason rather than SA for whom they could also have qualified. Lets just get on with the cricket and debate the issues of the day and stop whinging on on every thread about the same old predjudices.

  • Comment number 19.

    Heavens I have been posting on 606 for about 3 years but I am now being moderated as a new member. Oh well I guess it keeps people in work !!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    WHY play 6 batsmen against Bangladesh? We know that Bangladesh bat better than they bowl. Surely with Prior at 6 plus Swann & Bresnan as all-rounders we can make enough runs? Strauss's ridiculously excessive caution again?

  • Comment number 21.

    Some of the suggestions that the same old faces be trawled out to face Australia is depressing to say the least. You pick the best side you think will win not because they have central contracts.Who may have been good a year ago may now be jaded. No team can afford to carry players.You cannot hope a player will come good if its clear they are not up to the job.Anderson doesnt look capable at present and Bresnan doesnt look like a test bowler more like a pie thrower.Of course that might change for Bresnan but what excuse has Anderson got?Despite what is being said Finn was really trying and eventually got his reward the other two didnt even look like they might get a wicket.As for retaining people like Bell for Australia,its nonsense.He was found out ages ago.He is a good player but doesnt have that flair to take a small score to the big ones when it counts.Test cricket isnt for everyone and whilst every player deserves a few chances not every one has the flair to be a test cricketer. You must have the batsmen to rack up large scores to give the bowlers a chance to experiment and produce the wickets required to win games.On that basis you have the very best "confident" batsmen in form not the same old faces who are there because they were there before.
    I would choose Keiswetter not as a keeper but as a batsmen and reserve keeper.Like Pieterson he has that ability to blitz bowlers and take the game away at any level.He is a little raw but he will improve,he is young.Morgan is another who can strike blows which means the difference between winning or losing.Swann needs a partner and Tredwell fills that gap and like Swann is a good bat as well.If you have both Broad and Finn as opening bowlers and a couple of first class workhorses you have the makings of a good team.Its no good digging up the likes of Sidebottom or Harmison-they are ageing fast.In Australia they do the homework on any new cricketer and have usually worked out any weakness before test matches start as you would expect and the likes of Harmison and Sidebottom are just old hat.Onions is well in the frame for the tour in the winter which means some others will need to be put forward for tests this summer.Trying players out is what its about win or lose.

  • Comment number 22.

    The Darkness Is Calling proclaimeth:

    "We take Anderson, Onions, Broad, Bresnan and Finn then I can see another whitewash looming."

    Fair enough - you've provided an in-depth review of who *shouldn't* be playing in the Ashes, but who, exactly, do we take? Who are you suggesting should take their places in the squad? Is there a secret 19th county with five world-class fast bowlers that you've got up your sleeve?

  • Comment number 23.

    20. At 10:26am on 29 May 2010, flooch wrote:

    WHY play 6 batsmen against Bangladesh? We know that Bangladesh bat better than they bowl. Surely with Prior at 6 plus Swann & Bresnan as all-rounders we can make enough runs? Strauss's ridiculously excessive caution again?

    ---

    Why is playing 6 batsmen cautious? The norm is Test cricket is 6 batsmen with a 4 man attack, and that's generally what we've used the past decade when Flintoff wasn't fit, and it's usually what other countries use.

    How would a fifth bowler help anyway? Quality not quantity - adding a fifth bowler won't do anything unless they are good enough and add something to the attack.

  • Comment number 24.

    Amazing - no not really, typical more like...two (admittedly underwhelming) sessions on a flat pitch and all our bowlers are written off as rubbish...

    If we take the views of the Darkness is Calling seriously we may as well not bother sending a team to Australia at all : If "Anderson, Broad , Bresnan , Finn,Onions " are a recipe for a whitewash then just who the devil should we pick? Harmison and Hoggard ? No , tried that last time...

    How about we recognize that these fellows are (A)more or less the best available (B) Better than they showed yesterday , on the evidence of other matches, and (C) Capable of improvement ; and watch a couple more days cricket before we give up in despair?

    Glad you like Finn , Oliver. I'm not sure he's ready yet but there seems to be something there for the new bowling coach to work with.

  • Comment number 25.

    TopStumper

    Sorry about that, it's because you are posting on my blog for the first time I think. It happened the first time I posted on my own blog, which caused some mirth I believe. You should be good to post immediate replies now.

    Not much going on at Lord's today, though it was interesting to hear Vaughan on radio saying he expects the four-man attack strategy to be in place for the foreseeable future. As has been mentioned our last Ashes tour produced some pretty poor totals with five-man attacks. I think you need some viable fifth bowler options, however, when it gets really flat in Adelaide or somewhere. Who do we have in this current team? Trott? Pietersen? Not much is it...

  • Comment number 26.

    steve finn is a definite find. i can see him opening bowling in oz this winter with jimmy anderson. i think the following team is englands best selcetion.
    Strauss
    cook
    trott
    pieterson
    colly
    bell
    prior
    broad
    swann
    anderson
    finn

    We know that broad has found his feet in the team now knowing his role as the accuarte economic bowler able to take wickets and mix it up bowling 86 plus. finn bowling fast and accurately with anderson swinging or hitting the deck is a great three man seam attack. with swann being a legend making up the four man attack there should be a wicket everywhere to suit alls needs. should england need a second spinner drop bell moving broad to seven. back up bowlers bresnan as the allrounder with sidebottom and tredwell.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think cbodle`s team is about right. I just have to say that I can`t see any future for Bresnan, I`d have rather seen england blood someone like Woakes against Bangladesh.

    But cest la vie.

  • Comment number 28.



    Bowlers Steven Finn and earlier Shahadat have been truly outstanding on Day Two and Day Three. The match is interestingly poised. Can England bowlers take the remaining 13 Bangla wickets in the coming six sessions ? Patience and perseverance of bowlers and batsmen will be thoroughly tested from Sunday on. Best wishes to the players and their fans.



    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 29.

    The one thing this test match has shown is that Tim Bresnan can not be part of a four man bowling attack at test level. Finn apart, the bowling attack has been disappointing and toothless.

  • Comment number 30.

    In the absence of a blog summing up the test match, I'll leave some thoughts here:

    1 - We can't continue to depend on a bowling attack as capricious as this one. Yes, Jimmy and Broad are capable of tearing sides apart but only seem to do this in brief spurts or when conditions are very helpful. This was just enough to win us the Ashes last year. It won't be enough to win us the Ashes down under. And don't go looking for any assistance from the strips down there.

    2 - S Finn may - just may - provide a solution to the above problem. He appears to be consistently accurate - no doubt assisted by quite a lovely action. Good figures for this test but I'm more impressed with his approach to making a test debut on a distinctly batsman friendly wicket: was unfazed and didn't start trying to dream up cunning ploys to take wickets. Trusted in line and length and was rewarded. It is a shame that we won't be able to see him bowl against a strong batting line-up in tests before the winter.

    3 - Bresnan doesn't merit a place even as a second change bowler. Just a personal view. Don't think that 6 months ago anyone would have picked him as being far more suited to T20 than tests - more likely the other way round. Funny game, cricket.

    4 - Someone needs to have a word with Trott. I genuinely believe that if he needs such an inordinate amount of time and routine in order to bat to his full potential, then he isn't ready to play test cricket at its highest level in a hostile environment. His performance in South Africa is a far better indicator of how he may perform down under than his double-ton here. I'm concerned and, at present, he wouldn't be in my starting XI for the Ashes. The Aussies know the rules and they know how to use them to exploit mental fragility. Expect run-ups to begin before he has finished his little song and dance in the crease.

    5 - Bangladesh demonstrated the ability to learn on the hoof. This is encouraging, as test cricket needs all nations to be at least competitive. The fact that they became competitive by playing ODI cricket in a Lords test suggests they may offer something quite different as time progresses.

    6 - Old Trafford should provide an even more comprehensive vistory for England. If not, then there are serious questions to be answered.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oliver,

    I notice a bit of a theme throughout this thread regarding a lack of express pace in the current set-up.... And I'm inclined to agree.

    We hear Michael Vaughan constantly talk of to the need to be able to cope with express pace in Test Cricket when he's on TMS. Without Flintoff, Harmison or the much lamented Simon Jones, we simply don't have it (Let's forget about Harmison as a viable prospect for England now - what little credibility that man had left evaporated when he miraculously came out of One Day retirement to try and get his greedy hands on some of the Stanford Millions).

    I think there are players that can bring genuine pace to the attack out there... What has happened to Amjad Khan as an England prospect now? He seems to be taking wickets for Kent. Where is Plunkett in the pecking order now?

    As long as we have the likes of Anderson and Broad, for consistency, i think we should be looking to include bowlers that will be able to extract something from the fast bouncy Aussie pitches (maybe Finn is part of the answer, I've not seen him bowl yet personally)

    Surely everyone can see that one of the main reasons we were able to compete with the Aussie's last summer was Freddie's demolition job on Phil Hughes. He had threatened to dominate us until a couple of spells of supreme (very fast) bowling set his confidence back years.

    If only this Simon Jones comeback trail could be the one!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Steve Finn, seems to be the next big thing in English Cricket. Young talent should be cherished and nurtured. Proper grooming of this talent will take England cricket miles ahead. Steve needs to ensure that he continues to focuss on his game and gets the basics right as his cricketing idol, Glenn McGrath did for years. Fitness is another thing which he needs to take care of. He would not like to follow the footsteps of Simon Jones or Chris Tremlett who are no where to be seen in international colours.

 

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