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Finn ready for Ashes sledging
By Julian Guyer
23:00 AEST Wed Sep 22 2010

Steven Finn is ready for any verbal stick that comes his way on the upcoming Ashes tour after Australia's Shane Watson said the 21-year-old novice seamer would be singled out for sledging.

Finn has only played eight Tests since making his debut against Bangladesh earlier this year but the lanky Middlesex quick is expected to be in the side when England begin the defence of the Ashes in Brisbane in November.

"We can make the most of Finn's inexperience. We want to test his durability as a bowler," Watson said. "It will be so foreign for him - he doesn't know what to expect in Australia."

But the 6ft 7in Finn - who wasn't even born when England last won a Test series in Australia in 1986/87 - is confident he can deal with all the barbs that are set to come his way.

"I won't be bothered by it. I'll just shrug it off," Finn said.

"I don't know if there will be a lot of sledging. I haven't played in an Ashes series before but if there is I'll just concentrate on putting the ball on a good length and keeping my focus on that regardless of whatever they say."

Finn has so far taken 32 wickets at a cheap average of just over 23 apiece, including 19 in England's recent 3-1 Test series victory over Pakistan and he is set to be one of the first names read out by national selector Geoff Miller when the ex-England off-spinner unveils the Ashes squad on Thursday.

"I am confident enough to deal with the pressure if I get picked," said Finn. I'm confident that, no matter who it is that is put in front of me, I will be able to do the same processes that will end up in the same result - ie me being successful.

"I am thoroughly looking forward to the Ashes. It's the greatest series that an England cricketer can ever take part in. I just can't wait for it to get started now.

"It means a lot to play against them. I grew up watching Ashes series when I was younger and there were a lot of people who I looked up to throughout my career."

Finn, who has often spoken admiringly of now retired Australia pace great Glenn McGrath, believes the fact England, the reigning World Twenty20 champions, will travel 'Down Under' on the back of a run of good results will stand them in good stead.

"Of course we can win it. There's no point in us going out there unless we think we can," he said.

"We're on a roll at the moment. We're confident. We have played some good cricket over the last 12-18 months and the guys who were there before I got into the team put together an incredible string of performances, including the Ashes win, so I think everything has been building up to this.

"The Ashes is, at the end of the day, just another series."