Angus Fraser confident that Steven Finn can overcome drastic loss of form
Last Updated: 15/01/14 7:47pm
Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser has vowed to help Steven Finn rediscover his love of bowling after he was discarded from England's tour of Australia.
The paceman was the only member of England's initial squad not to feature in the 5-0 Ashes drubbing, and he will now play no part in the current one-day international series after being sent home early.
The 24-year-old has endured a huge slump in form and confidence, and England one-day coach Ashley Giles admitted concerns over Finn's bowling action had made him "unselectable".
Fraser will now give Finn some time off before the Middlesex staff attempt to restore his confidence and get him back into England contention this summer.
Fraser, who played 46 Tests and 42 ODIs for England, said: "We've been in communication with Steven and Ashley Giles and concluded that this is the best way forward.
"It's hugely frustrating for Steven because he wanted to play a major part in Australia but sometimes the harder you try the worse it gets.
"Working every day to try and win selection, with people asking where he is and what he's doing is not the ideal environment.
"We have some ideas for Steven and the plan starts with him having a couple of weeks away from cricket to empty his head.
"I think the main thing is that Steven falls back in love with bowling.
"It can become a job at times rather than the thing you dreamed about as a young cricketer - I've seen bowlers run up in tears before.
"But Steven just needs to love bowling for the sake of bowling again - not to win selection for the next ODI or the first Test of the summer. We'll work with England to get him back playing cricket and enjoying himself."
"When people develop mental problems with bowling that can start with a technical flaw. It's like a dripping tap that you ignore because you think it will be fine. In some cases it is fine but it can also lead to a flood and then the ceiling caves in. It seems to me that Finny has caved in a little."
Former Nottinghamshire seamer Ian Pont, now a respected fast bowling coach, fears that Finn's problems could be mental as well as technical.
Pont, who worked with a teenage Finn during a spell as national skills coach with the ECB, said: "England's statement that they are sending him home for technical reasons suggests that they feel he has lost his bowling action.
"In some cases that can lead to the yips... struggling to release the ball.
"When people develop mental problems with bowling that can start with a technical flaw. It's like a dripping tap that you ignore because you think it will be fine.
"In some cases it is fine but it can also lead to a flood and then the ceiling caves in. It seems to me that Finny has caved in a little.
"My fear is where he goes next. What does the ECB do? Batsmen work all the time on technique, we see them making tweaks, but there is a hesitation to work with fast bowlers and the only action taken is when there's a complete disaster.
"After three months in Australia it's unbelievable to think as a nation we couldn't get him up to standard. Something is clearly not right and questions need to be posed about the environment around him.
"I genuinely feel sorry for Finny because he's probably had 1001 pieces of advice and he's got a headache. He needs a coach who understands biomechanics and can analyse what he needs to do now.
"I'm sure the ECB feel they have their bases covered but there comes a time when you shine a light and realise there might be another."