Finn keen to replace Broad and stake his claim for permanent Test spot

Finn keen to replace Broad and stake his claim for permanent Test spot

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UPDATED:

13:15 GMT, 31 March 2012

Steven Finn is desperate for the chance to replace Stuart Broad as England look to end their four-match losing streak in Colombo on Tuesday.

A 75-run defeat to Sri Lanka last week meant the world's number one side have still not won a Test in 2012, with the result swiftly compounded by the news Broad was being sent home with a calf strain.

His reliable new-ball partnership with James Anderson, as well as his ability to provide a strong batting option at number eight, has been crucial to England's plans in a challenging winter and his injury poses major questions.

Stepping up: Finn is desperate to play in Colombo

Stepping up: Finn is desperate to play in Colombo

Finn possesses the pace and wicket-taking threat to step into his shoes, but lacks the control and the lower-order runs.

Tim Bresnan is economical and at least Broad's equal with the bat, but would be considered a gamble in a two-man pace attack.

Both men have their champions, while a rebalancing of the side could see both play, but Finn is simply focused on showing he is ready if he does get the nod.

'Broady is a massive part of the team and will be missed. He's a huge and important player for us but we've got a group of guys waiting in the wings who can cover for him,' said Finn, whose last Test appearance came when Sri Lanka visited Lord's in June.

'We don't know who is going to play, but if I get my opportunity I'm ready to take it. It will be testing in these conditions for seam bowlers but I like a challenge.

'I have felt as though I have been ready for a little while now. I have done a lot of bowling this winter and a lot of work on becoming a better bowler. Hopefully I can reap the rewards of that if I get a chance.'

Finn, who has 50 wickets in just 12 matches, would have been a certain pick for his country in years gone by, but England have an enviable stock of fast bowlers at the moment.

Anderson and Broad are the established first choice but Finn, Bresnan and Chris Tremlett have each excelled when called on to supplement the pair.

Chance: Finn is fighting for his place

Chance: Finn is fighting for his place

Finn, 22, accepts it can be tough with so many strong contenders for selection but believes it is important for England to have such options.

'When you have the ups and downs of being in the mix but not playing you can feel down pretty quickly, but it's a team game and we need to have a strong squad,' he said.

'We have to be able to compensate for injuries as we'll have to in this next Test match. All I can do as a back-up player is to be ready when the opportunity comes.

'No-one thinks their place is guaranteed and that's the thing about playing in a good team. You have enough players waiting to step into your position if you don't perform as I've found out in the past. If I get a chance in this game hopefully I can push a case to get a slot for the long term. No-one is complacent and everyone is working very hard.'

Finn also expressed sympathy for Broad, whose calf injury is the latest in a series of fitness issues including ankle, shoulder and stomach problems.

'As a fast bowler you have to put your body under pressure all the time,' he said.

'Broad has played in all formats for a long time now and maybe it has caught up with him a little. The schedule is very hectic at times, but that's part and parcel of being a fast bowler.'