x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Finn believes he is ready to make Test return for England

The 24-year-old fast bowler has been unable to force his way into the reckoning past others who have also struggled against Australia in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

England's Steve Finn bowls during a practice session at the Dunedin University Oval in New Zealand.
England's Steve Finn bowls during a practice session at the Dunedin University Oval in New Zealand.

MELBOURNE // Steven Finn insists he is ready to serve England well should they need him as they try to salvage some pride from the final two Ashes Tests.

Finn has been surplus to requirements, even as England were losing the urn before Christmas in three landslide defeats.

The 24-year-old fast bowler has been reduced to a bystander, unable to force his way into the reckoning past others who have also struggled against Australia in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The consensus is that he is still short of his best, having not been picked for a Test since last summer’s Ashes opener in Nottingham. There, he bowled only 10 of 120 overs in the second innings as Australia came within a whisker of a remarkable run chase before losing by 14 runs.

Finn’s part in England’s campaign down under has been restricted to three tour-match performances, none enough to quell doubts over his readiness to return to Test cricket.

Finn concedes he still has work to do, but said: “If I was picked for a Test, I wouldn’t let anyone down with my effort or with my attempt to do a job.

“I feel as if I could do a job for the team if I was selected for a Test tomorrow.

“It’s been my determination for the last two months” to get into the Test side.

“I haven’t come here thinking I’m on holiday – that I don’t want to play a part in the Test series.

“That would just be stupid, and I’d never do that.

“I’ve gone into the preparation for every Test and every warm-up game with the intention of performing as well as I possibly can, but sometimes it happens in sport that you don’t perform at your optimum level all the time.

“I haven’t done so far on this trip, but I’m working hard to turn it around.”

West Indies’ Chanderpaul hits Test run-scoring milestone

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the veteran West Indies batsman, overtook the Australian Allan Border as the sixth-highest run scorer in Test cricket annals on Friday.

His 122 not out in the third Test against New Zealand was also his 29th century and his 17th unbeaten, putting him one ahead of the Indian great Sachin Tendulkar as the batsman with the most unbeaten Test hundreds.

Chanderpaul, right, has 11,199 runs from his 153 Tests. His knock helped the visitors to a first-innings total of 367, with New Zealand’s Tim Southee the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 79.

New Zealand lead the series 1-0.

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