Adam Finch says the disappointment at missing the finale to the season through injury does not detract from the overall satisfaction of making strides forward as a bowler during the 2023 campaign.
Finch topped the Worcestershire bowling averages – of players who formed a regular part of the attack – with 28 wickets at 25.71.
The pace bowler returned the first two five-fors of his career and had the best strike rate with a wicket every 37.4 deliveries.
His final appearance of the season saw him play a key role with seven wickets in the crucial County Championship win over Gloucestershire at Cheltenham before being sidelined with a back injury.
But Finch has been making good progress with his rehab and hoping to return to Adelaide after Christmas to play grade cricket with Sturt CC for a second successive winter.
Finch said: “I was really frustrated to not be able to finish the season on the pitch but overall really pleased with how the year has gone.
“It is one I can hopefully learn from and build upon and try and improve and keep figuring out ways to try and make an impact for the team. Fond memories of this year.
“I think my game awareness has improved in terms of understanding situations, maybe just as a product of having been in a couple of those situations before.
“I also like to think my control and accuracy, my lines and length, were better this year than they have been previously.
“I worked a lot on hitting the seam and creating natural movement, and I think that was something this year I gained a bit more from.
“Really grateful for the experiences I had this summer and nice to see the things I worked on with Alan Richardson and Richard Jones coming to fruition.”
Finch was determined to make an impact this summer and do everything possible to play a role which would help the team progress in the right direction.
He said: “The one thing at the start of the year I wanted to judge myself on and be accountable to was impact to the team whether a cricket or energy related impact.
“I wanted, in those moments that are tricky, because you know you haven’t bowled as well as you wanted to, or when something not going right, to make sure I was accountable to doing anything I could to make sure the team was going in the right direction.
“I think sometimes you can undervalue that skill and think my influence on the team isn’t going to be the important one. Guys like Brett, whose character is such an important part of the team, you think those are the guys who are the big influences.
“But, when there are 11 people out there, if one person is not contributing, it does really make a big difference.”
Finch also showed an ability to bowl under pressure and showed his character in bouncing back from the challenging situations any player has to confront during a six month season.
He said: “That just follows on from things I’ve worked on for the last couple of years from a performance psychology perspective, having a clear reset in terms of at the end of every session we discuss it and say do we need to do anything different, or if it’s been working well, don’t change things or go chasing it.
“Also knowing that if we did need to do something different, that Dolly had every faith that we would know what we needed to do and give it our best go to execute it.”
Finch was also a regular member of the Vitality Blast side for the first time, playing in 10 matches including the quarter-final against Hampshire.
He said: “I got the opportunity to top and tail the innings which I was really pleased about and that is an exposure that can only make me better.
“It kind of opened my eyes this year to areas of my game that I need to develop with that.”
Finch has been making good progress after being laid low after the win at Cheltenham.
He said: “After the Cheltenham game, I had a pretty rough time the next day and had a scan and it said a bulging disc.
“Then it was day by day assess to see how it would pull up because there is not a great deal from a rehab perspective I could do to get it to where it was needed to play again last season.
“I started back in the gym and doing a few walk throughs, the normal rehab kind of staff, but just ran out of time to build my workloads up to be ready for the end of season games.
“Getting into a good place to have a nice patch of strengthening and conditioning stuff before I go away to Adelaide with Sturt CC, and then have a really good pre-season ready to hit next season hard again.”