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Saker: Finn can lead England attack
England's fast bowling coach David Saker has identified Steven Finn as the man to lead the side to success in India this month.
England, under the guidance of Ashley Giles for the first time since he inherited the limited-overs sides from team director Andy Flower, face a five-match series against the reigning world champions but are without a handful of their most experienced campaigners such as Jonathan Trott, Gramae Swann and James Anderson.
All signs point to a tough trip for England, who face a Delhi XI in their second, and final, warm-up, but Saker expects Finn to emerge as a senior figure. He said: "I think that job comes with a lot of personality. I think Steven Finn is probably the one that needs to take that role. We've had a chat about that and hopefully he will take that mantle."
Finn has all the attributes to become one of international cricket's most feared bowlers but has seen his rise to the top interrupted by injury. Back problems ruled him out of the fourth Test against India in December, as well as the subsequent Twenty20 series, but Saker sees no reason for long-term concern.
"The physio staff and the medical staff have said that the back isn't something that's going to be a long-term thing," said Saker.
"It's just something that's flared up, we're confident that he'll be fine for this series and going forward it's not something that's a major issue at the moment. If it was something like a stress fracture or coming looking like a stress that would be a bit of a worry, but we're confident he'll be right for this ODI series and going forward."
Since joining the England set-up in April 2010, 46-year-old Victorian Saker's stock has risen sharply and he was approached to discuss replacing Ashley Giles at Warwickshire. Giles, of course, has gone in the opposite direction having taken over as England's one-day and Twenty20 coach.
Despite being tempted by the role, Saker cannot conceive abandoning his current post with the challenges ahead in the next couple of years.
"I had a little meeting with some people at Warwickshire and we talked about it," said Saker. "I was very interested in it but in the long run I am committed to getting this England team through to the 2015 World Cup.
"I think there is something special coming up. Obviously there is a double Ashes (home and away series in the next year), a Champions Trophy in England and then the World Cup. It's a pretty exciting time to be with England so it just wasn't the right timing."