Fast bowler Steven Finn has become the latest player to depart Australia as England’s horror cricket tour continued on Wednesday.
England’s horror summer in Australia continued on Wednesday with young fast bowler Steven Finn the latest player to depart the tour early.
Finn was told to head home by team management after his game had deteriorated to the point he was labelled “not selectable” by coach Ashley Giles following the tourists’ arrival in Brisbane for Friday’s second one-day international.
The 24-year-old was the only member of England’s 17-man touring squad who didn’t feature in the 5-0 Ashes series defeat and has also been a spectator for the opening one-dayer in Melbourne and Tuesday’s tour match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra.
It means the Middlesex quick is the third Englishman to head home this summer following Jonathan Trott’s departure after the first Test due to a stress-related illness and Graeme Swann’s retirement in the wake of the third Test in Perth.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior was also dropped for the final two Tests of the series whitewash while young batsman Joe Root found himself dumped for the last Test in Sydney as three players – Scott Borthwick, Boyd Rankin and Gary Ballance – all debuted.
Giles said the decision to send Finn home was made in the player’s best interests as he was unlikely to feature in any of the remaining one-day internationals.
“He can go back and work on the technical things he’s got to work on,” he said.
“We’ve already had communication with Middlesex and we need to make a plan and get Steven back as quickly as we can.
“Sometimes through your career you’ll go through those ups and downs.”
Giles said Finn need look no further than Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson for an indication of just how quickly things can turn around for an out-of-form quick.
Johnson was seen as a gamble by Australian selectors ahead of the Ashes but was a key man in the home team’s dominance, claiming 37 wickets on his way to a man-of-the-series award.
“Mitch has done fantastically well,” Giles said.
“All credit to him, how he’s comeback. Steven Finn has similar capabilities, he’s shown that in the past and with a T20 World Cup and then a World Cup here next year, we need him back fully fit and firing.”
One player who appears to be battling mental demons is captain Alastair Cook, who failed again in Canberra despite his team claiming a comfortable win.
Giles said despite Cook’s woes with the bat, it’s not appearing to affect the opener’s behaviour or attitude.
“I’ve been with Cooky this last period and he’s been fantastic,” he said.
“He continues to work really hard, he’s leading the side as well so that puts extra pressure on him and it’s my job to take some of that off him.
“Things do turn very quickly … sometimes it’s just getting in, getting a start and, of course, we’re all hoping for that to happen here on Friday.”