Advertisement

Finn makes case for Test selection

Four wickets in England's final warm-up match in Sharjah thrust Steven Finn into contention

Steven Finn has made a strong case for his inclusion in England’s team for next week’s first Test against Pakistan, taking 4-16 in the final warm-up match against Pakistan A overnight.

Finn, who returned to England’s Test X in stunning fashion with eight wickets in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, gave England selectors plenty to ponder with his performance ahead of Tuesday’s first Test in Abu Dhabi.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood were rested for the second and final warm-up and are considered likely to form the pace attack for the first Test, but Finn’s performance could now see him now enter into calculations.

Quick single: Big names dominate domestic scene

Finn, however, said he would be surprised if he was named in the XI.

"I’d say I’ve staked a claim," he said.

"But I’d still be surprised if I played the first Test.

"I wouldn’t be surprised if the team that was picked the other day was the one for the first Test.

"But nothing is set in stone. If I am called on at any stage I’m ready to go."

Watch: Finn's fairytale five-fer (restrictions apply)

Finn made the most of the life in the pitch at Sharjah on Thursday and at one point had 4-2.

The 26-year-old hopes his performance will see him earn an opportunity later in the series, if not next week.

"I don’t think the same bowling attack is going to play all the way through the series because of the conditions and the wickets we’re playing on," Finn said.

"So if you don’t play the first Test it’s not the end of the world because there are two others in very quick succession to come."

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid continued to impress, with three wickets, while Moeen Ali took an early scalp.

Spin twins: Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali // Getty Images

England made five changes from the team that played the first warm-up match earlier in the week, giving every member of the 16-man squad an opportunity ahead of the first Test.

The second day of the warm-up will give England’s batsman the chance to audition for a place in the XI, with James Taylor given his first opportunity of the tour.

With Alastair Cook sitting out, Alex Hales will be given the chance to force his way into the vacant opener’s position, named at the top of the order alongside Moeen Ali - the man considered most likely to tackle the job in the United Arab Emirates.

Quick single: Moeen firms as Cook's opening partner

England’s experiment of Moeen Ali at the top of the order started in the first warm-up, when the allrounder made 22 as opener in England’s 5-286 on day one before taking 3-41.