Steven Finn backs Jake Ball to keep shining on world stage

Durham's Keaton Jennings straight drives for 4 runs of the bowling of Jake Ball of Notts at the Riverside, on Easter Sunday
Durham's Keaton Jennings straight drives for 4 runs of the bowling of Jake Ball of Notts at the Riverside, on Easter Sunday

Similarities between the pair have been noticeable since the word go in England colours, and now Steven Finn is backing his fellow fast bowler Jake Ball to continue to deliver on the world stage.

Mansfield-born Ball has not even been an international for a year, but has already cemented himself a place in the long-term plans of the selectors, both in Test and limited-overs cricket.

That has culminated in a place in the England squad for this summer’s Champions Trophy while his wits will also be pitted this week in the Royal London One-Day International Series against Ireland.

The Nottinghamshire seamer will join up for two ODIs starting on Friday in Bristol, while Lord’s awaits on Sunday as Ball looks to add to his nine international appearances to date.

And while the tall, fast bowler regime is one Finn himself is definitely used to, that’s not the only comparison that has caught the eye of the Middlesex man so far.

“He’s come in and hit the ground running and that’s something I’ve always valued, you want to come in and do well for the county that you love and that sets you up for plating internationally,” said Finn, looking ahead to the series against Ireland.

“Jake is an excellent bowler, over the last 12 months he’s played a bit of international cricket and done very well, he’s a very exciting talent.

“We’re similar bowlers, we both try and do the same thing in hitting the track hard from a great height and being as consistent as possible.

“He’s still relatively young so he’s still got plenty of opportunity to improve and got a good chance to have a really long career in international cricket.”

Ironically, Ball was among those keeping Finn out of the Champions Trophy squad, though both look set for a chance of their first international outing of the summer as early as this week.

The two have also been in rich Specsavers County Championship form, with Ball opening up his campaign with six wickets against Durham, part of an attack boasting four former or current internationals.

And for Finn, Ball has the hallmarks to reach a century of appearances for his country over the coming years, with age still on the side of the 26-year-old.

“One of his key attributes is posing as many questions to the batsmen as possible, you never really feel comfortable around him when you’re facing him,” added Finn.

“I’ve enjoyed playing with Jake, he’s done very well since he’s come because it’s not always the easiest, and hopefully there will be a few more appearances to come together in the future.

“There’s a lot of scope for places in the England team to be earmarked for different styles, and those that he possesses are vitally important in all formats.”

Steven Finn was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI matches against Ireland.