Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Cricket's Finn is handed chance of redemption

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Steven Finn of Middlesex celebrates after bowling out Luke Fletcher (R) of Nottinghamshire during day four of the LV County Championship match between Middlesex and Nottinghamshire at Lord's Cricket Ground on April 16, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Steven Finn of Middlesex celebrates after bowling out Luke Fletcher (R) of Nottinghamshire during day four of the LV County Championship match between Middlesex and Nottinghamshire at Lord's Cricket Ground on April 16, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Steven Finn has been called up to the England squad for the first time since his Ashes nightmare as a replacement for injured paceman Liam Plunkett for the fourth Test against India.

Finn endured a torrid time Down Under over the winter, with his bowling regressing to the point where he was deemed unselectable, despite England suffering an Ashes whitewash defeat.

Yet he has shown signs of his best form on his return for Middlesex this season and that is enough to convince England selectors that he deserves his chance to prove himself on the international stage once again, with Plunkett continuing to suffer from an ankle complaint.

"Liam Plunkett experienced some left ankle discomfort at the end of the second Test and will miss the fourth Test as this continues to settle," said a short statement on the England and Wales Cricket Board's official website.

"He will be replaced by Steven Finn in the squad for the upcoming Test at Emirates Old Trafford."

While Finn has represented England's limited-overs sides in the past year, he has not played a Test since July 2013 against Australia at Trent Bridge and had fallen down the pecking order.

But he is the fourth highest wicket-taker in the LV= County Championship Division One this season, with 44 scalps in his 10 matches.

He will now be hoping to reward the selectors' faith, if chosen, and add to his haul of 90 wickets in 23 Tests this week, with the Investec series against India finely poised at 1-1 with two more matches to play.

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