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Finn frustrated with life on the fringe
Fast bowler Steven Finn has admitted that he no longer knows what he has to do to force his way into England's Test team.
The Middlesex seamer was overlooked for the first Test of the current series against West Indies, as Tim Bresnan retained his place in Andrew Strauss' selection for the match at Lord's - Finn's home ground.
The 23-year-old admits the omission was disappointing, as he grows increasingly frustrated with life as a regular squad member who rarely gets the chance to show what he can do.
"I thought I had a good chance of playing the first Test of the series," Finn said. "It wasn't to be and I've had to pick myself up from the disappointment of not playing and make sure that I'm ready when the chance comes.
"You have to accept the squad mentality but I want to be playing. I don't want to be sitting there watching other people bowling, I want to be doing it. It is frustrating when you are not involved, you almost don't feel part of it.
"Sat on the sidelines you don't feel as if you are contributing. It's important that I keep working when I go back to Middlesex and keep taking wickets. Both of which I feel I've been doing."
Finn's frustration is amplified by the fact that captain Strauss should know his strengths and weaknesses well, as the pair play together for Middlesex. Yet 16 wickets in three county matches - with Strauss watching on - at the start of the season still did not manage to get him on Andy Flower's teamsheet for the first Test.
"Maybe he saw something that wasn't quite right for Test cricket, which would be disappointing as I felt I was bowling all right," Finn said. "I struggled for rhythm in my first match against Durham but I got better and took seven wickets in the match. It's the captain's prerogative - he and Flower pick the team and I just have to accept it."
The situation has nevertheless knocked Finn's confidence, after he made his first foray into Test cricket with 53 wickets in 14 matches before being dropped halfway through the 2010-11 Ashes series against Australia due in part to a poor economy rate.
He has made fleeting appearances in the side ever since but does not expect to be included for the second Test at Trent Bridge - despite Bresnan only taking one wicket for 144 runs in the opening Test.
"You want to get back in the team but you don't wish ill on anybody else because you want to win," he said. "Ultimately, we played some very good cricket at Lord's so logic says the side will stay the same. If I do get the opportunity though, hopefully I will take it."