Finn has learned from his mistakes, says Anderson
Friday , August 03 2012 , 04:51 PM
James Anderson is confident Steven Finn has "eradicated" his cumbersome habit of disturbing the non-striker's stumps in delivery.
It cost him and England dear on day one of the second Investec Test at Headingley, where he should have had Graeme Smith caught at slip for just six.
Instead the South Africa captain went on to make 52 and share an opening stand of 120 with Alviro Petersen (124no) in the tourists' 262 for five.
Anderson, who also had Petersen dropped on 29, described England as "perplexed" with Steve Davis' decision to call a dead-ball from the very delivery Finn appeared to have dismissed Smith.
The Australian umpire's decision was a controversial, and telling, moment - and prompted a press statement from MCC, guardians of the Laws of Cricket, in which they resolved to consider fresh guidance for officials.
Davis, who had taken no action when Finn dislodged the bails three times in his first over, went on to call dead-ball twice more when the tall seamer again clipped the stumps - after Smith and Petersen complained it was distracting them.
Anderson, however, is encouraged by the fact Finn did not fall back into his bad habit again in the remainder of his 21 overs. "He's trying to get tight into the stumps, and it's just when his knee bends that he touches the wickets," he said.
"I think he's obviously done something about it in this game - because in the afternoon and evening sessions he didn't do it again.
"So he's worked at it, and managed to eradicate it."
England will hope so, having paid the price already.
"It's a frustrating one for us, because he [Davis] didn't actually warn us he was going to do it," said Anderson.
"We were slightly perplexed by that.
"But the batsmen said it was distracting, and they had been in the umpire's ear - and he finally decided he was going to call dead-ball.
"Unfortunately, it was the ball that we managed to get Smith out.
"There is nothing in the rules that says the umpire can't do that."
England also put down two slip catches yesterday, the first by Alastair Cook to reprieve Petersen and the second by Anderson himself to give AB de Villiers another chance.
Anderson was quizzed over the reason for an apparent deterioration in England's catching this summer.
"If there was a magic answer we'd be catching everything," he said.
"I really can't explain it.
"We've put a few chances down. Our work ethic with our slip catching is still as high as it was, when we made those improvements.
"We still work flipping hard at it.
"We're just putting chances down, which is really frustrating for everyone involved - the guy who's dropping it, the bowler who's getting the edge.
"We obviously don't mean to do it, and we'll be striving very hard not to do it in the future."
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