Here to Stay

The last couple of days of the Lord's Test were all I managed to see, but it was enough to forcefully remind me of the talents of two young players of very similar ages, but vastly differing backgrounds and abilities.

Tamim Iqbal is the best batsman Bangladesh has produced in the decade since it became a Test-playing country. As an attacking Asian opener he will inevitably be compared to Sehwag, but as the pundits were saying yesterday, a more precise comparison, on account of his stature, his left-handedness and his penchant for the hook, would be with the late Roy Fredericks. Tamim is the player around whom Bangladesh can build their improving batting for a long time to come, but for the moment it'll be enough to for the rest of us to enjoy the brilliance of his strokeplay and the spontaneity of his celebrations, for there will be many more to come.

Steven Finn, of course, can really bowl. But the comparisons with Glenn McGrath which everyone seems to have been drawing seem to me to be the product of wishful thinking, based partly on Finn's self-professed admiration for him and the fact that Finn's so tantalisingly good. For me, a better comparison is with Finn's county coach Angus Fraser, although time will surely reveal Finn to have been the quicker and more penetrative operator.

Finn also comes across in interview as confident, mature and articulate, with the type of self-deprecation which is bound to endear him to English audiences. After receiving the match award this afternoon he said something about only filling in for Stuart Broad, and implied that he thought he might not be selected again in a hurry.

Steven, I've got news for you. This was only the start. You're going to be in the England side for a very, very, long time.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Hi Brian, I agree with you about Steve Finn. The fact that he said that about Stuart Broad shows what a modest character he is. The thought of Bresnan getting picked ahead of him (just as a bowler) is a non starter.

Lets just hope the selectors look after him and not bowl him into the ground.

Not sure if all these comparisons are too helpful, if he is half as good as McGrath I'd take it. But he seems a level headed young man, so that should help him not get carried away with praise like that.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Dean. Even now, it's hard to imagine Bresnan taking the new ball ahead of Finn, as he did at the start of the match. That won't happen again.

Bresnan has plenty to offer - including batting ability - but it's hard to see him being a significant force in Australia whereas you've got to feel that Finn will be.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that there is still a window for Finn to become a regular member of the England attack. He has packed a lot into the last 8 years (injuries, losing his action and the change in the no-ball law) and 125 test wickets at 30 is by no means a poor return but I felt that he'd quickly become an integral part of the side and provide a little of the x-factor that we typically lack (a 6 foot 7 bowler hitting 90 mph). With Anderson certainly coming to the end and Broad probably in his last 2-3 years, it's getting to the now or never stage for Finn. He is almost 30 and if he doesn't establish his place in the side in the next year or so then I'm afraid that it's going to pass him by as new, younger names overtake him. It also seems like a very long time since he was the number 2 ranked one-day bowler in world (it is - 2012!). Keith

Brian Carpenter said...

Hi Keith,

As I may have said last time, it's interesting to be reminded of what I wrote years ago by someone commenting on it, so thanks very much.

You're right that there are going to be some vacancies in the England seam attack before very long, but Finn doesn't seem to be mentioned these days, largely because he's spent so much time not playing in recent seasons.

Next season will be crucial. If he can get fit and start well, then it'll feel as though his career has been re-launched, but time is slipping away. In many ways he already he feels like another player with with a great future behind him, and I've got a feeling that won't change.

I would, though, love to be proved wrong.

Subscribe in a reader