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Finn keeps the faith
Steven Finn flew out to England's Dubai training camp on Thursday morning uncertain whether he will be involved in the first Test against India in Ahmedabad next month.
But the Middlesex paceman was certain that England have the X-factor required to end their 27-year wait for a Test series victory in India. England beat India in a Test series at home last year but then suffered the backlash when they travelled to the sub-continent and were trounced 5-0 in a one-day series.
"People are writing us off already but write us off at your peril. We like rearing our backs up in the face of adversity," Finn warned. "I don't think an England team have won out there for 27 years so we're looking to do a similar thing to what we did in Australia in 2010-11, by breaking those sort of records."
He added: "We have the pain from the one-day series we lost there last year and we have the good experience of beating them in 2011. I think a combination of the two should spur us on to win this series. I think we have the players and the mindset to do that. You need a little bit of the X Factor, which we have."
Finn, though, has to prepare himself for long stints watching from the boundary because he is likely to be squeezed out of the team if England opt to play two spinners.
The 23-year-old has played 16 Test matches for England but 11 of them came in 2010, following his debut on the tour of Bangladesh. Finn was the leading wicket taker after the first three Tests of the 2010-11 Ashes series but lost his place and he has only played five times since.
"I've been on the end of that chop quite a few times over the last two years and it is just one of those things," Finn said. "You desperately want to be out there and you don't hold any grudges when you're fighting for a few spots. It is just the way team sport works and you have to accept that you're not always going to play."
England's preparations for the tour of India were given a boost on Thursday after Kevin Pietersen's Delhi Daredevils were eliminated from the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
Pietersen was recalled into the squad last week and will this weekend join up with his team-mates for the first time since he was exiled following his texting controversies over the summer.
Following the Daredevils' 22-run loss to the Lions, Pietersen wrote on his Twitter page: "Apologies to all the @DelhiDaredevils fans! We should have done better today! On a more positive note- I'll be in India Sunday.. Can't wait!"