Former England captain Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott are among those calling for Tim Bresnan to replace Steven Finn for the second Ashes Test with Australia, but there are grounds to believe that Steven Finn deserves one more chance, especially with the fixture taking place on his home pitch at Lord’s.
Finn is clearly going through a confidence glut that was compounded on the final day of the first Test, where he seemingly tried his best to hand Australia victory, conceding 25 runs in two overs and dropping Brad Haddin in the deep in what has to be said was a tough chance.
Skipper Alastair Cook may have also lost faith in Finn, throwing him the new ball in the first innings and then not bringing him on to bowl until over 29 in the second.
It is easy to see why Bresnan is rated as the 4/5 favourite to start at Lord’s, with Finn out to 5/4.
This is not the first time that Finn has had bowling problems in the Ashes, as it should be remembered that he was dropped from the fourth Test in 2011 despite being the leading wicket-taker in the series at the time.
Naturally, his economy rate is higher than England’s other quick bowling options, but he does take wickets and the key will be for someone to have a word in his ear to get him to bowl a fuller length.
It is thought that Bresnan will do a better job at keeping things tight, bowling to a plan and enabling England to have a deeper batting line-up, but it is highly unlikely that he can be a match-winner.
In fact, Bresnan hasn’t taken a single wicket in his last three bowling innings for England, going at a rate of approximately 3.5 runs per over in the process.
Meanwhile, he has bowled 118 overs across his last five bowling displays for England and taken just two wickets. His record at Lord’s is hardly inspiring either, with five wickets at the ground in his Test career at an average of 66.
As he plays for Middlesex, if Finn can’t take wickets at Lord’s, he will struggle to take them anywhere. He has bowled close to 5,000 balls in First Class cricket at the ground and taken wickets at an average of less than 26.
Graham Onions is the third option for the final seamer place in the second Test and if it is decided that Finn would profit from being dropped, he really should play instead.
Onions has taken 10 Test wickets at Lord’s at a rate of 19.3 and may be a big price at 10/1 to start.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.