Gurney places faith in England’s inexperienced attack

Harry Gurney insists the Sri Lanka rainy season cannot blow England's World Cup preparations off course.
Harry Gurney insists the Sri Lanka rainy season cannot blow England's World Cup preparations off course.
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Harry Gurney is confident England’s pace attack will be unhindered by inexperience, or Sri Lanka’s monsoons, as they begin World Cup preparations in earnest.

In the absence of injured frontline pair Stuart Broad and James Anderson, there is a callow look to England’s seam contingent for the seven-match series due to get under way next week.

Twenty-eight-year-old Gurney begs to differ, but the numbers to support his theory are lacking.

The left-armer has seven of the 69 one-day international caps belonging to four of the players chosen to bowl at pace, alongside Steven Finn.

Finn has 42 under his belt and is therefore cast as the linchpin – a mantle which cannot sit easy at this stage for a bowler of great potential in all formats but whose mid-career blip was so severe only 10 months ago that then coach Ashley Giles described him as ‘unpickable’ before he was sent home from Australia.

Finn has restated his case of late, and in the practice sessions England have so far been able to fit in between the storms here, Gurney for one is impressed.

“With Jimmy dropping out reasonably late on and not being replaced, it means all of the seamers in the squad are going to get more opportunity and more time in the limelight to show what we’ve got,” he said.

“We’ve got some guys who’ve played a fair bit.

“Finny has and Woakesy (Chris Woakes) has been around a little while now... we’ve got a good group, and we’re all putting our heads together and trying to come up with the best tactics.”

Gurney believes captain Alastair Cook and coach Peter Moores have all the right men in harness. “I think we’ve got a group of bowlers that will adapt... and allow Mooresy and Cooky to select a well-balanced attack, given the conditions we’re presented with,” added Gurney.

As for Finn’s well-being, Gurney said: “He’s looking really good. He’s in fine shape – and any issues he might have had are well behind him now. That’s brilliant for English cricket.”

Aaron Finch’s superb century at the top of the order helped Australia move 2-1 ahead in their series against South Africa after a commanding 73-run win in the third one-day international.

Finch struck 109 off 127 balls while David Warner contributed 53 and Steven Smith added a fluid 73 to take Australia to 329-5.

Despite a stand of 108 from Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, South Africa fell short.