Newman: Steven Finn’s England Test omission is harsh
Opening batsman Scott Newman talks Middlesex cricket in his weekly column
It seemed a bit harsh on Steven Finn to be left out of the England squad for the first Test – but hopefully their loss will be Middlesex’s gain.
Finny’s the youngest bowler to get to 50 Test wickets for England and he’s been performing well, so I don’t really understand the selectors’ thinking on this one.
You’d imagine James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett will be the three pace bowlers to play and then Tim Bresnan’s next in line if someone has to come in.
Personally I think Finny’s shown that he’s a better wicket-taker than Bresnan, but it’s a four-Test series, so I suppose there’s a decent chance he might get back in the side before the end of the summer.
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From a Middlesex point of view, though, it’s good news that he’s been left out – it meant he was available for our County Championship game against Surrey at Guildford.
It’s worth pointing out that every time Finny’s played for us in the County Championship this season, we’ve won the game and that’s a measure of how influential his bowling has been.
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I’ve played at Guildford a few times before and it’s one of the best club venues around. The boundaries are small, so it’s usually somewhere you want to bat – but, given the weather we’ve had, it might be a bit green this time.
It was important that we rediscovered that winning feeling and gained some momentum ahead of the four-day game, so Sunday’s CB40 tie at Headingley was a big one for two reasons.
The other reason, of course, was that we went to Yorkshire second in the table and returned home in first place. We needed that win to rekindle our CB40 campaign and we did it in style.
We managed to build decent partnerships, which is something we struggled to do in the t20. Obviously there’s less pressure in a 40-over game and you have more time to work things out.
Dawid Malan and myself should really have gone on to make big scores after a decent start, but fortunately Buck (Rogers) and Paul Stirling batted superbly well to see us through and put the game to bed.
Meanwhile, it was good to see Straussy making runs for Somerset in the tour match – it was an unusual experiment but it seems to have worked from the selectors’ point of view.
Maybe he needed to tinker with a couple of things, but it was vital that he got back in the runs ahead of what should be a thrilling Test series.
With our conditions, there’s a real possibility that the Indian batsmen could struggle against our bowlers, as the Sri Lankans did. On the other hand, it could backfire and play into the hands of Zaheer Khan, so it’ll be fascinating to see what happens.