Eng­land star Finn tip­ping Helm to make it at the top

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

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

Finn (right)

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