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David Lloyd
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Bumble's blog: Steven Finn's England future in doubt until he makes Middlesex mark

Finn sent home

I'm amazed it has taken England this long to send Steven Finn home. From what I've been hearing, he should have gone back during the Test series.

My information (and it is second-hand) is that he's got the bowling 'yips' and can't get the ball from one end to the other. He's in such a bad way that Ashley Giles admitted today that Steven is un-selectable.

I'm not surprised. I've seen Steven in the nets and at times he's virtually walked up to the stumps rather than run in hard.


Lee shocked by Finn omission

There have been plenty of left-arm spinners who have suffered with the yips over the years but very few seamers. That's what made Scott Boswell's horror over for Leicestershire in the 2001 C&G Trophy Final so unforgettable. From memory, it contained eight wides. Scott totally lost it that day.

So how has Steven got to this point? Nasser and I were chatting about it over a curry and reckon it's nobody's fault. It's one of those things that has just happened; he just can't get the ball from one end to another.

I've heard people say Steven must be badly advised but my own view is that at this level advice - whether it's about your run-up or action - has absolutely nothing to do with it.

He simply can't run up and bowl. That's nothing to do with advice. It's not as if they're changing him from a right-armer to a left-armer! He literally can't let go of the ball.

The powers-that-be changed the regulations after Steven started hitting the stumps in his delivery stride so that these days it's a no-ball if anyone does it.

But this is a problem he has to solve himself. I reckon Steven shouldn't do anything for at least a month. He should just get away from everything and then see if his bowling just clicks back in.

At this stage I'm very sceptical about whether it will - for either Middlesex or England. One thing's for sure, it's going to be a long way back.

I'd imagine that England want him to settle back with Middlesex for a season and I presume he'll be withdrawn from the World Twenty20 squad.


Fraser support for Finn

You don't need me to tell you the cricket has been dreadful and I can't see this series ending anything other than 5-0 to Australia. Nobody even knew that Stuart Broad was injured until Alastair Cook happened to mention it after the defeat in Melbourne, so goodness knows who'll be playing on Friday.

England simply aren't competing - and they seem to have no interest in the first 10 overs of their innings or the five overs of powerplay.

I watch cricket from around the world and, let me tell you, the minimum you have to score in 50 overs games these days is 300. We don't seem to have the capacity to get anywhere near it.

We're playing a very conservative brand of cricket while Australia are deploying two out-and-out hitters in Aaron Finch and David Warner at the top of their order.

Finch captained the Melbourne team after scoring a hundred in the first one-day international, which contrasts starkly with the stance of England, who largely don't want their players to play.

The Big Bash is massive news in Australia. I've seen it leading the news and the sports agendas, plus it's all over the papers too.

It's a much shorter competition than our domestic T20 with fewer teams and each match feels like an event - which is why you get crowds of 35,000 at the Gabba and 44,000 at Melbourne.


Away from the cricket I played a rare round of golf the other day at Royal Melbourne - one of the best courses in Australia - and my team won the Stableford competition.

I had a guy called Mark on my team who, it turns out, is the nephew of a chap called Derek Llambias, who used to be heavily involved at Newcastle FC. Nasser, Straussy and Beefy also played but, I have to report, didn't feature amongst the leaders.

That's all for now as I've got to rest up. I've seen a lot of hotels on this tour and had a few early nights too.

There's a hell of a lot of travel involved. Friday's day-night match will finish at about 10.30pm and then we've got an 8am flight to Sydney ahead of Sunday's game.

So it's all a bit hectic and it will be nice to get back home.

Watch the second one-day international between Australia and England from 3am on Friday on Sky Sports 2.