FAST bowler Steven Finn is delighted to have won back the admiration of England cricket supporters ahead of today’s one-day series decider.
Finn managed to contain the Kiwis at five-an-over in Nottingham on Wednesday as England ‘restricted’ them to 349-7 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 just 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 one-day internationals,” 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 50-over total of 408-9 – 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 that will happen this summer.”
He credits caretaker coach Paul Farbrace, about to hand the reins to Australian 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.”
Father Time has returned to his home above the Mound Stand clock at Lord’s.
The ground’s weather vane of a cloaked figure holding a scythe while bending over cricket stumps was damaged by strong winds in March and taken away to be repaired.
It has stood at Lord’s since being donated by architect Sir Herbert Baker in 1926.