KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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England's Steve Finn says, if picked, he "can't wait" to make his English-soil Test debut for England against Bangladesh at Lord's.
Finn has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence, since being added to the England squad touring Bangladesh earlier this year.
"It’s still sinking in – everything’s happened so quickly." Finn admits but the Middlesex pace-man is keeping his feet on the ground:
"It’s important that I focus on what’s coming and not what’s been in the past.
"It’s nice to have played international cricket already but it’s important that here at Lord’s, my home ground, somewhere I love playing, that if I get the opportunity I don’t think about the past I think about what’s to come."
Finn's not feeling any added pressure, having moved up from "promising youngster" to full Test international:
"There’s still a lot of time in the future, a lot of time to come, time left for me to really show what I can do. It’s important that I take each game as it comes and I don’t look too far ahead.
"Bangladesh, one day, are going to cause a big upset. We’re backing ourselves that it’s not going to be against us - we’re not taking them lightly. They’ve got some good players, players that are achieving a lot in cricket."
Playing at Lord's his home ground for Middlesex may give Finn an edge but the Home of Cricket still seems familiar, despite the Test match build-up:
"The ground still feels the same, it’s still the same place. It’s the same place with different people surrounding me which is exciting, it’s fun.
"It’s something I’m really excited about – what could happen over the next week or so."
Being captained by Middlesex team-mate, Andrew Strauss, may be an added advantage too:
"He’ll know where I prefer to bowl from and he knows what I can do. Whoever’s the captain they play each situation as it comes. If Straussy thinks I’m the right person for that situation then so be it.
"[I prefer] the Pavillion End. I think Straussy knows that - I’ve only bowled one over from the other end this season!
"It’s a good cricket wicket. There’s been a bit in it. The Test wicket will be different but I’m looking forward to it.
"If I’m picked - I can’t wait. To get the opportunity to play a Test match, on my home ground it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was younger - that I’ve wanted to do since I first started playing cricket. If I get the opportunity it’ll be a dream come true.
"Obviously I’ll be a little bit nervous but you have to use that in a positive way – use that nervous energy.
"Getting on the Honours Boards – that’s something that excites me. I’m not looking towards it though – if you go into a game saying you’re going to take five wickets it’s more than likely you’re not going to!
"It’s an underlying theme – but I really can’t look too far ahead at the moment.
"I’ve never played a Test match here – I’m just going to have to adapt to the conditions."
As the interview draws to a close some of Finn's England team mates walk past, on their way to the nets. A shout of "Avatar!" is followed by lots of laughter:
"They think calling me Avatar’s quite funny. I’m not bothered, they can call me what they like. I’ll get my own back with my own nicknames... and in the nets."
Facing the 6'7" Finn must be a daunting prospect - even for his team-mates.