Steven Finn: ‘Superhuman’ James Anderson still important cog in England attack

By Sports Desk January 17, 2024

Steven Finn has tipped “superhuman” James Anderson to bounce back from his struggles last summer to make an impact for England in India.

Anderson claimed five wickets at an average of 85.40 in four Ashes Tests to spark more conjecture over his future after he turned 41 in July.

While Stuart Broad retired at the conclusion of the drawn series, Anderson had no such plans to walk away and Finn, who played with the veteran seamer during England’s successful tour of India in 2012-13, is confident his old team-mate will impress over the next two months.

“Jimmy is superhuman,” Finn said of the Lancashire seamer, who has 34 wickets and boasts an average of 29.32 from 13 Tests in India.

 

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“People have been anticipating he will retire for about seven years now and he keeps surprising people and performing.

“He didn’t have a fantastic summer last year, but I know from knowing him as a character that he wouldn’t be doing this unless he felt he could make a difference.

“I think a determined Jimmy Anderson, well managed, is someone who will be important to England, especially making the most of the reverse swing because he is an absolute master at that.

“He would have worked on his fitness, he would have trained hard, he has got the skills and has got the experience so I anticipate when he plays, he’ll be an important cog.”

India have not lost a home Test series since England’s 2-1 win nine years ago and Finn predicted this would pose the “toughest challenge” of the Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum era.

England’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ style of play has taken the cricket world by storm over the past 18 months, but eyebrows have been raised at their preparation for this series, which begins in Hyderabad next Thursday.

Stokes’ squad have spent this week in state-of-the-art facilities in Abu Dhabi on a training camp and will only arrive in India three days before the first Test. It led to former seamer Steve Harmison predicting a 5-0 defeat.

Finn added: “I think if someone had offered (former head coach) Andy Flower three days’ preparation before a Test series his head would have exploded.

“I think there are a couple of caveats: times have changed, clearly. We don’t even go to an Ashes and have three warm-up games now, like we did on my first tour in 2010/11.

“I do think we encounter problems with the warm-up games because on that 2012 (India) tour, we turned up for a game and they played six 70mph medium pacers and no spinners and it didn’t replicate what you were going to find in the Test matches.

“I think the changing landscape of cricket has just meant they thought their preparation was best served elsewhere and it’s very hard to question this management team because every time we have over the last 18 months or so, they’ve dumbfounded everything we’ve thought of their decisions.

“I wouldn’t be as vociferous against it as Steve Harmison was a few weeks ago. It’s less than ideal but I don’t think it’s absolutely critical.”

IG, a leading trading and investments provider, has renewed its partnership with the ECB for a further three years. Through the Net Gains Fund, IG and the ECB will commit £1 million towards initiatives in under-served communities by 2027, including building new net facilities in five English cities in 2024.

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