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Finn-gers crossed for Steven

Middlesex bowler not worried by Watson's words ahead of Ashes

Finn: Hoping to be on the plane to Australia

Finn: Hoping to be on the plane to Australia

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Steven Finn told Sky Sports News HD he is "relatively confident" of being picked in England's Ashes squad - but admits competition for places is fierce.

"I don't feel that I bowled all that well in the Pakistan series this year and that might be reflected in the selection. You just don't know, though we will find out on Thursday"

Steven Finn

Quotes of the week

Seamer Finn has enjoyed a superb start to his international career, picking up 32 wickets in eight Tests since making his debut in Bangladesh.

But despite his efforts during the course of the English summer, including taking nine wickets against the Tigers at Lord's, the 21-year-old still feels he isn't a certainty to be in the 16-man squad to travel to Australia this winter.

"If I get the opportunity to go then it will be fantastic to go and play cricket in Australia - something I have never done before," he said.

One-day performers

"To be playing against Australia, if selected, would be fantastic.

"I'm relatively confident (of being selected), but there are guys there who haven't been playing in the last few Test matches that have been stating their claim very, very well.

"The guys in the one-day team have done fantastically well, so you can't take anything for granted in this game.

"I don't feel that I bowled all that well in the Pakistan series this year and that might be reflected in the selection. You just don't know, though we will find out on Thursday."

Finn missed out on the chance to face Australia in the NatWest Series earlier this summer as he instead underwent a strength and conditioning programme.

"I had four-to-six weeks to really work on my strength and conditioning, to build up those muscles that will stop me getting injured," he explained.

"That's highly important for a 21-year-old who could be playing in a lot of cricket over the next 12 months, regardless of what that is.

Asked if he was now a better player because of the training, he replied: "It's difficult to say. Obviously I feel good for it and that I've come back and bowled consistently quicker.

"We will see in the long run. That's the only gauge that we can go on."

Confidence booster

Australia certainly expect the beanpole Middlesex bowler to be part of England's side for the series opener in Brisbane.

All-rounder Shane Watson looked to lay down a marker ahead of the five-match series Down Under by proclaiming Finn would be singled out by the home side because of his inexperience.

"It's great that they want to talk about me - it's a confidence booster," said Finn in response to Watson's words.

"First and foremost I've got to make sure that I'm on that plane, and then I've got to make sure that I do myself justice. Any peripheral things that might come into the equation I just need to block out and make sure I'm doing what I've done in the past few years playing cricket."