Steve Finn has hinted memories of being destroyed by Australia’s batsmen two years ago are behind him, with two early wickets on the first day of the third Ashes Test.
The lanky paceman was exiled for two years by English selectors after being taken apart by the bat of Brad Haddin during the second innings of the opening match of the 2013 Ashes series at Trent Bridge.
England won a dramatic match by 14 runs, but Finn was hammered for 20 from two overs by Haddin and withdrawn from the attack and the remainder of the series.
So bad was his form that he was deemed to be unselectable during the disastrous return series in Australia and sent home ahead of the one-day internationals in Sydney to rebuild his confidence and action.
The Australian batsmen also feasted on his bowling during the Cricket World Cup opener in Melbourne, taking 71 from his 10 overs – although he did capture the final three wickets to complete a hat-trick that was labelled the least deserving in cricket history.
But he made a dream start on his Test return at Edgbaston after Mark Wood was ruled out with an ankle injury.
He took the scalps of world No.1 batsman Steve Smith and out-of-form skipper Michael Clarke in the opening hour of play.
Finn dismissed Smith, who scored a maiden double century at Lord’s last week, for seven with the final ball of his first over, with skipper Alastair Cook taking a regulation catch in the slips.
Clarke hasn’t passed 50 since scoring an emotional century against India in Adelaide last December and his batting woes continued when his stumps were splattered by a tremendous Finn yorker having scored just 10.