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Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan or Graham Onions for second Test?

Sports Mole assesses which of Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions should bowl for England in the second Ashes Test.

As expected, the England selectors named the same 13-man squad for the second Ashes Test against Australia that gets underway on Thursday morning at Lord's.

Just as it did in the opening encounter at Trent Bridge, the only selection issue of note will centre around who will complete the bowling quartet alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

Steven Finn was given the nod in Nottingham, but his match figures of 2-117 from 25 overs during the 14-run victory has seen the debate resurface, bringing both Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions back into contention.

Here, Sports Mole analyses what each bowler would contribute to the England attack.

Steven Finn

It has been said about the 24-year-old for some time now that he leaks runs - an accusation that his figures from Trent Bridge do little to quell.

Ashton Agar's knock of 98 on debut was, quite rightly, highly praised by all quarters, but the 19-year-old was aided by some wayward bowling by the home side, notably from Finn.

However, he does take wickets and important ones at that. Take the dismissals of Shane Watson and Ed Cowan in successive balls during the first innings after England were dismissed for a disappointing 215. That impact changed the whole complexion of the game.

Lord's is also a ground that he knows well, having risen through the ranks at Middlesex. From five Tests there, Finn has claimed 29 wickets at an average of 20.65.

England's bowler Steven Finn celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Ed Cowan during day one of the first Ashes Test on July 10, 2013© PA Photos

Tim Bresnan

The term 'solid bowler' could have been coined for Bresnan. He may not be capable of producing the sort of delivery that Anderson did to Michael Clarke in Nottingham, but he's a steady performer who is capable of keeping things tight.

Having said that, Lord's has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Yorkshireman.

From three Test matches at the London venue, he has taken just five wickets. Moreover, four of those dismissals were claimed against Bangladesh back in May 2010.

Where he does have the better of both Finn and Onions is with the bat - a point highlighted by his recent display against Essex at Chelmsford.

Tim Bresnan celebrates taking a wicket against the West Indies.© Rui Vieira / PA Photos

Graham Onions

Before injury struck in 2010, it seemed that Durham's Onions was going to be a key component of the England side for years to come.

It would take him almost 30 months to return to the international fold, though, during the Test match against the West Indies at Edgbaston, where he was then smashed around the ground by number 11 Tino Best.

There is no doubt that he is the outside bet as far as the trio are concerned, but there are few seamers who can bowl better to left-handers than Onions. The fact that the Aussies have a handful of those may count in his favour.

The 30-year-old has also found it relatively easy to produce decent line and length balls at Lord's in the past and has a very positive record at HQ.

Graham Onions© PA Photos

Sports Mole says - Stick with Finn: His showing in Nottingham may have suggested that his selection at Trent Bridge was an error, but it was the signal of intent that impressed many pundits and former professionals. From a bowler's point of view, wickets is the name of the game and Finn can take them, particularly at Lord's. Granted Bresnan is a 'solid bowler', but at times he does not always fill one with the belief that a wicket is in the offing. While his batting credentials are a plus, on paper at least, England bat deep enough without him.


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England's James Anderson and team mates celebrate after winning the First Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge on July 14, 2013
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