Finn hails England support

Published: Friday 19th June 2015 by The News Editor

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England are revelling in their sudden flavour-of-the-month status following transformation from World Cup also-rans to Royal London Series stars.

Eoin Morgan’s team simply never got started in Australia and New Zealand last winter, bowing out of the global tournament embarrassingly early.

But they have made very good on their intentions against World Cup finalists New Zealand over the past 10 days – matching the tourists shot for shot in a remarkable run-fest set to top 3,000 in Saturday’s series decider at Chester-le-Street.

Steven Finn is one of the stooges of the new ODI narrative, in which any bowler capable of stemming the flow of boundaries for even an over or so deserves high praise.

He managed to contain the Kiwis at five-an-over in Nottingham on Wednesday as England ‘restricted’ them to 349 for seven – and then breezed to a national-record run chase on the back of centuries by captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root.

The fast bowler was one of only five players named on Thursday both in England’s squad for Tuesday’s one-off Twenty20 against New Zealand at Old Trafford and also the pre-Ashes training camp to Spain which begins four days later.

He does not need to cast his mind forward, though – because it is a thrill already to be part of a team who may be about to pull off a significant series victory but in any case already appear to have won over their own supporters again.

“I’ve never seen crowds get behind us as much as in these last four ODIs,” said Finn.

“I think that has stemmed from the way we played in Birmingham in that first game.”

There, centuries from Root and Jos Buttler took England to a another record – their highest ever 50-over total of 408 for nine – and demonstrated their new commitment to all-out attack was no case of empty words.

“That got people behind us and galvanised people’s interest and gave us belief that we can go out there and do what we say we want to do,” added Finn, who senses the new vibe dates back a little further too – to a highly-entertaining drawn Test series against the Kiwis.

“I was a fan sat at home watching the Test matches, and loved the way we went about it.

“Even though we lost that second game (at Headingley), the way the guys went about it was brilliant.”

As for the future – after being named in an Ashes training squad also featuring uncapped Derbyshire left-armer Mark Footitt – Finn insists, whoever bids to make up for England’s 5-0 whitewash defeat down under in 2013/14, will be on the front foot.

“Australia are going to be a tough challenge, we know that, and they are going to come hard at us,” he said.

“Sometimes in the past we’ve been meek in the face of adversity like that – but I don’t think will happen this summer.”

He credits caretaker coach Paul Farbrace, about to hand the reins to Trevor Bayliss, with a major role in helping England play to their potential.

“Since I’ve come back into the team, he has always been very positive – trying to galvanise the troops, telling you that you are doing… the right things and to keep believing in what you are doing.

“I think that has been a huge part in the young guys who have come into the team being able to express themselves.

“Farby has a big part to play in that.”

Published: Friday 19th June 2015 by The News Editor

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