Worcestershire pace bowler Adam Finch is looking to show the qualities he demonstrated during his first spell of bowling in LV=Insurance County Championship cricket for 11 months on a regular basis.
Finch experienced his first Championship action since last May in the encounter with Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside and produced an excellent 10 over burst either side of lunch on the first day.
It deservedly brought him the wickets of Michael Jones and Durham captain Scott Borthwick and figures of 2-21 as himself and Ben Gibbon dragged back the run rate after a flying start by the home side.
What was particularly encouraging for Finch was that he was able to trouble both left hand and right hand batters.
It is a part of his game that he has worked hard to improve with Head Coach Alan Richardson and Assistant Coach Richard Jones.
That first taste of red ball cricket since the away game with Derbyshire last summer has whetted his appetite for more of the same and he is determined to be ready to make his mark should he be needed.
He said: “Really pleased to be back involved, and it was great to have Dolly (Brett D’Oliveira) come up to me on that first morning and tell me I was playing.
“You’ve probably heard it all before but you get those butterflies, nervousness, excitement, all those kind of emotions.
“That first 10 over period was really nice. I felt like I challenged right handers and left handers which is something I’ve been working on for the past couple of years or so, probably since I came off the Academy.
“It is something I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time with Richo (Alan Richardson) and Jonesy (Richard Jones) and myself while I’ve been away trying to figure it out, and it is definitely not something I’ve got nailed on yet.
“There is still a process of getting there and being consistent with it but hopefully those 10 overs are a sign of things to come and I can keep doing that more frequently through 20-25 overs in a day.
“On a consistent basis? Absolutely, that is the ambition and I’ve been put in a really nice place by Dolly, Richo, Jonesy and Kads (Kadeer Ali) as well.
“We’ve had lots of conversations of how they want me to play my cricket, and how they want me to go about it, and it has put me in a nice comfortable position where hopefully I can keep producing those sort of spells.
“Hopefully I can keep doing that and keep trying my best to make an impact for the team. As all the bowlers are, we are picked to take 20 wickets and keeping in the mindset of how we are going to bowl a team out as a unit is really important to me.”
Finch added: “Whetted my appetite for more of the same? Definitely. I’m a big believer in you can only control the things you can control and I bowled well this week and did my best.
“Just keep trying to make an impact for the team, and keep trying my best for the team, and that will generally put me in a pretty good spot.
“If I am needed, and conditions suit me for that game, and I’ve proved that I should be in the team, then I think that will take care of itself.”
Finch is still only 22 and the former England Under-19 player says he still has “an awful lot to learn”
He said: “The good thing about getting an opportunity to play in the first team is that you learn heaps.
“If you haven’t played many games, there are so many new experiences and so many new opportunities to take on and learn how you go about those.
“All the lads similar to my age group, like Tonguey (Josh Tongue) and Dillon (Pennington), are on a pretty similar journey and process so it is great to go about it with them, and share experiences with them, and just fundamentally try and make each other better.
“If we can help each other become better, we can really challenge to get promoted which is the main ambition of the group.”
Finch has been working on his red and white ball skills leading into the new campaign.
He said: “Things like how many times I can hit the top of off stump while playing red ball and working on a few different skills in the white ball format, just to have a couple of options that I really back to the hilt and be completely confident in executing those.
“I know it sounds really simple but the experience of playing the game is also crucial. Sometimes you can get caught up in your own little world and thinking maybe about the wrong things.
“Actually the art of playing the game of cricket is something you need to master at some point and be really good at, and that’s what the older boys like Leachy (Joe Leach) and Dolly have got.”
Finch believes he has also benefitted from a spell of grade cricket in Adelaide with Sturt CC this winter.
He said: “It was an unbelievable period of time. I consider myself really lucky that I get to go out there for a couple of months and experience a place like Adelaide whilst also working to improve myself as a cricketer.
“They were a great bunch of guys and it is hopefully a place I can go back to, maybe next year and put in some good work again.
“We are really lucky to have Malvern but nothing compares to playing cricket and it is something Richo has echoed to me for a few years.
“If anyone ever asks me whether they should stay or go, I’d encourage them to go abroad.”
In addition to his impact with the ball, Finch came close to saving the game with Durham during a last wicket stand spanning 14 overs with Dillon Pennington.
He said: “Batting is something I take quite seriously. I’ve worked while I was away also quite a lot on my batting to make contributions to the team.
“Down the lower order if you can make a 20,30, whatever….any runs you can add on, really go a long way to helping the team.
“In this instance, I was trying to take it one ball at a time and to try and get to those final overs.
“Disappointed for it not to come off but I think myself and Dillon gave it a pretty good go and it was a hell of a game of cricket to be part of.
“It was a brilliant period of cricket because there was real drive from them to get that final wicket and a real drive from us to keep that last wicket.”
D’Oliveira showed positive intent by declareing 59 runs behind on first innings to help set up a thrilling last day.
Finch said: “That’s the way we want to be playing our cricket moving forward. There was a full buy-in and commitment from the players that it was the way we want to go about playing.
“It just feels like a really exciting group to be part of if that is the mindset we are going to carry moving forward because if you want to compete for championships and win championships you need to win games of cricket.
“It just feels like a great group to be part of with that mindset going forward.”