Ashes 2013: England must start series brightly, says Steven Finn

Ashes 2013: England bowler Steven Finn says the hosts have no excuse for a slow start against Australia next week

Harry Kemble
By Harry Kemble
alastair cook
England captain Alastair Cook Photo: The Sport Review

England have no excuses for starting poorly against Australia when the Ashes begins on Wednesday, according to Steven Finn.

The team have stuttered out of the blocks in all three series under captain Alastair Cook; losing in Ahmedabad, being bowled out for 167 in Dunedin and limping to 160 for four at Lord’s in the back-to-back series with New Zealand this year.

Even in Andrew Strauss’ final series against South Africa last summer, the team found themselves on the wrong end of an innings thrashing in the opening match at the Oval.

But the England seamer believes the raft of high-profile matches in last month’s Champions Trophy, plus the four-day warm-up against Essex this week ensures the side are in a good place.

“It is always important to hit the ground running but that is why we had the warm-up game against Essex this week to make sure that the bowlers have got miles in their legs and batsmen spend time in the middle,” Finn told The Sport Review.

“I think we’ve had good preparation and looking forward to next week there is no reason why we won’t hit the ground running.

“We’ve had some good results this season, beating New Zealand 2-0 and getting to the final of the Champions Trophy. I think it is dovetailing quite nicely towards this Ashes series.”

Finn, who played a significant part in the 2010-11 Ashes in Australia, knows all about triumphing over the Old Enemy.

And he was adamant that the additional pressure that surrounds the forthcoming five-Test series will not have an adverse affect on his team-mates, saying that if anything, it will galvanise and boost them.

“Yeah it is obvious there is more hype around an Ashes series, especially a home one but that is very exciting for us,” added Finn, who is an ambassador for ESPN Classic’s Ashes coverage.

“We’re very much looking forward to going out there and playing against Australia. The onus is on us to perform to the best of our ability and if we do that we will be a very tough challenge for Australia.”

ESPN Classic will broadcast extensive Ashes programming every weeknight throughout July, celebrating one of the fiercest rivalries in international sport. Visit espnclassic.com for details.

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