England recalls fast bowler Steven Finn for the third Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston, captain Alastair Cook said Tuesday.
Finn, who has taken 120 wickets in 33 Tests at an average of under 30 apiece, is set to replace the injured Ben Stokes.
The tall right-arm bowler bagged was declared man-of-the-match for his eight-for against Australia during England’s last Test outing at Edgbaston.
“He has good memories here of last year,” said Cook. “He hasn’t quite been at his best this year — there have been a few factors in that, (but) physically he’s now better and has had a couple of things sorted out in the last week.
“We all saw the other day down at Middlesex, playing Essex, that his pace is back up again.” Cook added: “You could have argued for Jake, and telling him was a tough call, but we’ve gone for a guy who has a very good Test record — giving him another go.”
All-rounder Stokes has been ruled out after damaging his calf in England’s 330-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford that levelled the four-match series at 1-1.
Cook said there was still a slim chance England could give a home debut to leg-spinner Adil Rashid if there was a marked change in pitch conditions between Tuesday and Wednesday’s toss at Edgbaston.
England also had the option of selecting Nottinghamshire quick Jake Ball, who made his Test debut in Pakistan’s 75-run win in the series opener at Lord’s.
“It was a tough call as I found when I lie awoke at 2:00 am (0100 GMT) thinking about it” Cook told reporters at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
Finn took six for 79 against Australia at Edgbaston in an Ashes Test win last year and Cook added: “We’ve gone for a guy with a proven Test record.”
England team: Alastair Cook (capt), Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson