England star Finn tipping Helm to make it at the top
CHESHAM’s Tom Helm has been tipped by Middlesex and England cricketer Steven Finn to reach the top, writes Tom Moore.
The 21-year-old made his debut for the county last summer before suffering a stress fracture that ended his season before it really began.
And he has been touted as the most talented young bowler that Finn, who has 113 Test wickets in his career so far, has seen.
He said: “Tom Helm, in my opinion, is the most talented young bowler I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to pump his tyres up too much as he’s got a lot of learning to do still.
“He’s got something different and special. You watch him bowl and you think it’s beautiful. It’s easy, it’s quick and it’s swinging both ways at will.
“If he can stay injury-free, he’ll be a very good player in the future for Middlesex and hopefully higher than that.”
Helm, naturally, was flattered by Finn’s praise, joking that he once wanted the England international to sign his shirt despite wearing the same kit, but his first focus is to prove his fitness now his injury troubles are hopefully behind him.
“I started bowling again on Monday after I had a setback at the Oval two weeks ago,” he said.
“I haven’t bowled much over the last year, but the drills I’ve done have me in a good place. I’ll be ready to rock and roll when I get the chance.
“First off, I want to stay on the pitch all season.
“I want to do the right things in taking wickets for the second team and get back in the squad.
“I don’t expect to jump straight into the first team. I need to prove I’m fit and do the right thing.”
Helm has also enjoyed working with director of cricket Angus Fraser and bowling coach Richard Johnson.
He said: “Gus is always there with open ears and will give advice if you ask him. He’s fantastic to have about. You can only look up to him.
“Richard’s got a great crop of seam bowlers but we’re blessed to have the coaches we have and, for me, in particular Jonno. He’s as good a bowling coach as there is out there. It’s great for us.”
Competition for places is fierce with Finn, Toby Roland-Jones, James Harris and Tim Murtagh all battling Helm for a place in the side.
The 21-year-old said: “There’s a lot of competition for places. They’re the guys you’re up again. Once you do get there, you know the work you’ve put in. It’s a challenge but there’s a great reward.”
Praise: Tom Helm (left) and Steven