Worcestershire CCC paceman Adam Finch is targeting a regular first-team spot at New Road next summer – but knows the importance of continuing to develop as a cricketer.
Finch made his senior breakthrough in 2019 when he played in seven County Championship matches and the tour game versus Australia.
He then gained further experience during a loan spell with Surrey last summer, making an impact in three matches in the Bob Willis Trophy, before returning to Worcestershire to play five matches in the Vitality Blast.
Once again there will be competition amongst the bowling group next summer.
The trio of Joe Leach, Charlie Morris and Ed Barnard – with more than 700 first-class wickets between them – compliment the younger group including Finch himself, Pat Brown, Josh Tongue, Dillon Pennington and Mitchell Stanley.
Finch said: “The competition has been like that for the last couple of years now. I think it is a brilliant environment. You bring the best out of each other.
“We are all similar ages, we are all learning together, we bounce off each other on terms of ideas, what has worked for us, what hasn’t worked for us.
“I’m happy with my progress. It would have been nice to have had an extended summer and hopefully have played a few more games.
“But I feel like I’m learning, growing as a person, as a cricketer and hopefully can keep evolving and taking the things I learn every year forward and just try and improve and be better.
“I feel like I have a wise head on my shoulders for a 20-year-old but still trying to not use that as an excuse. I realise I’m young and I need to learn and develop but try and hold myself to high standards and try and improve as much as I can.
“Am I targeting a regular spot next season? I think you are always developing but that is the focus and the goal.
“I want to be one of the first bowlers that Alex (Gidman) puts down on the team sheet.
“You want to be the guy who they will say about ‘we are playing here, we know Adam Finch will do the job’.
“I want to tick those boxes that get me in the team and makes me a crucial member of the team.”
Finch says the experience of his loan spell at Surrey will stand him good stead alongside the knowledge gained during his development with Worcestershire.
He said: “It was a great experience just to see what another environment is like, to see how those boys play down there, just to play cricket because there were a lot of lads who didn’t get the opportunity to play any cricket last summer.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous but as soon as I got there they were all brilliant and welcoming and made me feel at home.
“There was the Worcestershire connection with Vikram (Solanki) and Gareth (Batty) and we had a few good chats about the history of Worcestershire. It was nice to get a little insight into their experiences of playing at New Road.
“I was really happy with how I went. To get the opportunity to play and then to perform well and feel like I carried myself in the manner I wanted to, I was pleased with it.”
Director of Cricket Alec Stewart and Solanki, who is now Head Coach, were complimentary about Finch’s performances.
Finch said: “That gives you a lot of confidence. Massively. They know heaps about cricket, they’ve been around the game for years, so to have those nice comments coming out from those kinds of people is a massive confidence boost and something I’ll try and take with me.
“When you’ve got those kinds of guys backing you, and the coaches at Worcestershire backing you too, it gives you the confidence to do your best and perform how you know you can.”
Finch was indebted to the advice of Pat Brown as he adapted to his first spell of Vitality Blast cricket.
He said: “We don’t play too much T20 cricket from a junior perspective and getting that opportunity and learning about the fast pace of the game, and different situations in the game require of you, was brilliant.
“It can be a bit of a whirlwind, but that is the brilliance of it, being able to react to those situations that you find yourself in the quickest.
“For me, it was great having Pat (Brown) there. We travelled with each other to a few games and had a great few conversations during the summer about just cricket.
“Having your mate there, to bounce ideas off, and asking his opinion, someone who has experienced international cricket and done very well at that standard, helped me a lot with my introduction to T20 cricket.”