Finn was not selected for the ODI series against Australia and Bangladesh, but returned for the Test series against Pakistan. Finn was quietly effective; though he did not bowl as much as fellow pace-bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, he picked up 13 wickets at an average of 22.92. Finn was also part of a useful 49-run unbeaten last-wicket partnership with Matt Prior in the first Test, which enabled Prior to reach a century despite only having 63 runs when Finn came to the crease. Finn picked up five wickets in the match, including 3–50 in the first innings as England won by 354 runs. He bowled less in the second Test, taking match figures of 3–67. Finn was less impressive in the third Test at the Oval, but took 3–38 in the final Test of the series as England won by 225 runs. England won the series 3–1, though the series ended amid newspaper allegations of spot-fixing involving several members of the Pakistan team.
When England toured India in October for five ODIs, senior fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were absent, rested and injured respectively. Finn was included in the squad. In the first ODI he took 1–67 as England suffered a heavy defeat of 126 runs. He was wicket less in the second, finishing with 0–50. He performed better in the next two matches, taking 2–44 and 3–45. Finn bowled all of his ten overs in the final match of higher series, finishing with 2–47 as England lost by 95 runs. Finn finished as England’s leading wicket-taker in the series with 8 dismissals at an average of 31.62. Commenting on Finn’s performance in the series, which England lost 5–0, coach Andy Flower said “Coming into the series he wasn’t a first-choice limited-overs cricketer for us. But he has been the outstanding bowler in our side.” Finn took 3–22 in a T20 match against India following the ODI series. After the tour Finn exploited a gap in England’s international schedule to join Otago to gain experience.
Although Finn played no part in the Test series against Pakistan, he played a big part in the limited overs series. He took 4–34 in the first ODI and followed this up with the same figures in the next match as England went 2–0 up in the series. Finn a gained his good form in the next game as he took 3–24, before finishing off with 2–42 to help England win the match by 4 wickets and wrap up the series. He played the first T20 match, taking 1–39 as England suffered an eight run defeat. He took three wickets in the next game to help England level the series, before taking 0–31 in the final game to help England win the series 2–1.
Finn played in the second test against Sri Lanka, a game England needed to win to keep hold of their number one Test ranking. Finn took 1–51 in the first innings before taking 2–30 in the second to help England win the match by 8 wickets and draw the series 1–1.
Finn played in the third Test against the West Indies in June. The match was affected by rain and ended in a draw, with Finn taking figures of 3–109 in the only innings he bowled in. He played in the first ODI where he took 1–29 as England won by 114 runs. He took 1–48 in the second match as England again won, this time by 8 wickets. He took figures of 2–22 in the T20 match between he two sides.
Finn was selected in the side for the second Test against South Africa, having missed out on selection for the first match. He finished with figures of 2–118 in South Africa’s first innings and then 0–55 in their second. Finn kept his place for next match and bowled well in e first innings, taking 4–75, including the wickets of Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis. He took figures of 4–74 in the third innings of the match, again dismissing Amla and Kallis and also getting the wicket of AB De Villiers. South Africa went on to win the match to win the series 2–0 and claim the number one Test ranking spot of England. Finn played in the first ODI between the two sides, but the match was abandoned due to rain. He took 1–59 in the second match and 0–42 in the third. He took 1–33 in the final match of the series to help England win by 6 wickets. He took 1–22 in his four overs in the first T20 match, but England only made 118 and lost by 7 wickets. He took 2–17 in the final match from two overs, but no result was reached due to rain.
Finn was selected in the England squad for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. He took 1–23 against Afghanistan as England got off to a winning start. However, they lost their next game against India, although Finn took two wickets. In the 2012 ICC World T20,he along with Jade Dernbach set the record for the highest 10th wicket partnership in T20 World Cups(20). This pair has also equalled Nikita Miller-Sulieman Benn record partnership for the last wicket in T20 World Cups.
He took the wicket of Keiron Pollard in the next group game, but England again lost, this time by 15 runs. In the must win game against New Zealand, he took 3–16 to help England win by six wickets and qualify for the quarter finals. However, they lost their match against the hosts Sri Lanka by 19 runs, with Finn taking figures of 1–24 in the match, and finishing he tournament with 8 wickets.
Finn was selected in the squad for the tour of New Zealand, which began with three T20 Internationals. He took 3–39 in the first match as England won by 40 runs, before ended wicket less in the second match which England lost. He finished with figures of 0–18 in the third and final match as England won by ten wickets to take the series 2–1. He played in the ODI series, taking 1–54 in the first match, followed by 1–33 in the next. He finished the series by taking 3–27 as England won by 5 wickets. Finn played in all three test matches in the series in New Zealand. His bowling was disappointing in the first match, taking 1–102 before making 56 with the bat, his first International half century, as the match ended in a draw dominated by batsmen. He took 2–72 and 0–36 in the next Test, which again ended in a draw. In the final match of the series he took figures of 6–125 and 1–57 as the match again ended in a draw and the series finished 0–0.
In the return series, Finn played in the first test match, taking 4–63 as England won 170 runs. Finn was not required to bowl in the second innings as James Anderson and Stuart Broad ripped through the New Zealand batting line up. He was in the wickets in the next test, taking 3–36 and 1–62 as England won by 247 runs to clinch the series 2–0. He only played in one ODI, taking 2–57 in the third match of the series as England won by 34 runs.
Finn was selected in the England squad for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy but only played a small part. His only appearance came in the semi final win against South Africa. He took 1–45 to help England reach the final. They lost the final to India, but Finn was not selected in the team.
Finn was selected in the team for the first Ashes Test against Australia. He took 2–80 in the first innings, but proved expensive, going at over 5 runs per over. He took 0–37 in the second innings as England won the match to go 1–0 up in the series. However, he did not play again in the series, with Tim Bresnan being preferred to him as the third seamer. Finn was expensive in the first T20, taking 1–45 as England lost by 39 runs. He took 1–30 in the next game which England won to level the series at 1–1. He played in the second ODI, taking 2–68. The third match was abandoned due to rain. In the fourth match, Finn took 2–43 as England narrowly won by 3 wickets.
After being selected for the 2013/14 Ashes tour, Finn was the only member of the touring party not to feature in any of the 5 tests, all of which were won by Australia. He was sent home after the first one-day game, with one-day coach Ashley Giles stating that “[i]n the short term, he needs a couple of weeks away. Steven is not selectable at the moment.”.
Following work on his bowling action and a return to form with Middlesex, Finn was recalled to the England side for the Test series against India. Although Finn could not break into the team, he retained his place for the One Day series. He was recalled to the side for the third ODI at Trent Bridge. He made 6 with the bat before being run out, and then went on to take figures of 1–50 as England lost by six wickets. He retained his place for the next match, but England suffered another heavy defeat, this time by nine wickets. Finn was the most economical of the bowlers, taking figures of 0–38 in seven overs. England won the final match of hone series, with Finn taking 2–37 including the wicket that won the match after he dismissed Ravi Jadeja. Finn was selected in the T20 side and again bowled well, taking figures of 1–28 to help England secure a narrow win.
After being ruled out of the first ODI through injury, Finn played in the second match, taking figures of 1–35 in six overs. He took 1–41 in the next match, as England won their first game on the tour. He was less impressive in the next match, finishing with figures of 0–61 in 9.4 overs, as Sri Lanka hit the winning runs off his bowling. He took 1–28 in the next game before finishing with 2–53 in the sixth match of the series. With the series already lost, Finn played no part in the final match.
Finn was selected in the England squad for the Tri-Series against India and Australia. In the first match he failed to take a wicket as England lost to Australia. He performed well in the next match, taking figures of 5–33 as England thrashed India. He took figures of 2–65 in the next match against Australia, although England lost the game, meaning they had to beat India to qualify for the final. Finn again performed well, taking figures of 3–36 to help guide England to victory. However, when England met Australia in the final England were unable to produce their best for, with Finn taking figures of 1–53. England lost the match and finished as runners up, with Finn taking eleven wickets in the series.
Finn was selected to play in the limited-overs part of New Zealand tour to England. In the first match he was the pick of England’s bowlers, taking 4–35 as England secured an emphatic victory. He was less effective in the next game as England lost, taking figures of 1–69. He was wicketless in the next game, but bowled better in the fourth game of the series, taking 1–51 to help England level the series at 2–2. In the final match of the series he took 2–71, which helped England to win the match and the series 3–2. He also played in the one off T20 match, taking 0–29 as England secured a 56 run victory.
Finn was named as back-up in the first two tests in the series, and replaced Mark Wood in the third test at Edgbaston, making his first appearance in the England test team after two years. In his first over, Finn took the wicket of Steve Smith, rated the number one batsman in the world in the ICC Player Rankings. Later in the innings, he bowled Australia captain Michael Clarke, ending with figures of 2/38. During Australia’s second innings, Finn again claimed the prized wickets of both Smith and Clarke, as well as his best figures of 6/79 that ripped through the Australian middle order en route to his player of the match honour. In the fourth Test of the series, Finn took 1–21 in Australia’s first innings but remained wicketless in their second as England won the match in convincing style to clinch the series 3–1. In the final game of the series, Finn took 3–90 in Australia’s first innings but England went on to lose the match by an innings, although they won the series 3–2.
Finn played in the only T20 between the two sides, and took figures of 1–39 as England secured a narrow victory. Finn played in the first three ODIs against Australia. He took 0–41 in the first game which England lost by 59 runs. He then took his first wickets of the series in the second match, finishing with 2–55 although Australia again proved too strong, winning by 64 runs. In the third ODI he took 2–43 as Australia were dismissed for 207 and England secured a 93 run victory. He didn’t play in the final two games of the series, and Australia won it 3–2.
After being ruled out of the tour of Pakistan through injury, Finn returned to the Test side for the series against South Africa. In the First Test he recorded figures of 2–49 in South Africa’s first innings, and followed this up with 4–42 in their second innings as the hosts were dismissed for 174 and England secured a 241 run victory. In a high scoring second test, Finn could only manage figures of 2–132 as South Africa scored 627–7 declared, and the match finished in a draw. The third Test saw Finn take 2–30 in South Africa’s first innings, and 1–14 in the second innings as South Africa were dismissed for 83 and England went on to secure a 7 wicket victory and took an unassailable 2–0 lead in the series. Finn was ruled out of the final Test through injury, which England lost.
For the first test at Headingley, Finn kept his place in the side. He took two catches in the first innings, and then he took three wickets in the second innings, finishing with figures of 3–26. When he batted in the first innings he scored 17 runs in a 50 run partnership with Jonny Bairstow. In the second Test he could only manage one wicket, but England still won the game in convincing fashion to go 2–0 up in the series. In the third Test he took figures of 3–59 in Sri Lanka’s first innings in the third Test, to help reduce them to 288, although the match ended in a draw due to rain delays.
Finn played in the first Test against Pakistan, but did not take a wicket in the match as England lost by 75 runs. After being dropped for the second Test he returned for the third match and took his first two wickets of the series, finishing with figures of 2–38 in England’s second innings as they recorded a 141 run victory. In the final match he took 3–110 in Pakistan’s first innings as they scored 542. Finn picked up an injury in Pakistan’s second innings after bowling just two balls, and England went on to lose the match by ten wickets.
Finn took 0–30 in the first innings of the second Test against Bangladesh as the hosts scored 220. In the second innings he finished with figures of 0–18, and England went onto lose the game by 108 runs to draw the series 1–1.
In the first ODI against the West Indies Finn took 0–49 as England won by 45 runs. In the second match he took 2–38 as England won by 4 wickets. In the final match of the series he took 2–35 as England bowled the West Indies out for 142 to win by 186 runs.
He has pace and height. He has an easy, repeatable action. He has stamina and strength and, now, he seems to have developed the skills to trouble good batsmen on good surfaces. It is not that he has just learned how to swing and reverse swing the ball, or that he now seems to gain more seam movement, it is that he has put the whole package together and added the vital ingredient – consistency – to his game. … He has maintained a horrid, nagging length that has left batsmen unsure whether to play forward or back, he has nipped the ball both ways off the seam and gained some swing. And he has done it all at pace. He has regularly exceeded 90mph [145km/h] and left a batsman as experienced as Younis Khan saying how surprised – and impressed – he was with Finn’s aggression and hostility.
Prior to 2013, Finn had a frequent habit of knocking the non-striker’s stumps with his knee during his delivery, sometimes dislodging a bail. This ultimately caused controversy during the 2012 South Africa tour of England: after the South African batsmen complained of being distracted, the umpire decided to use a provision within the Laws to call a dead ball whenever Finn broke the stumps – with the first such call negating a wicket-taking delivery. In 2013, Finn changed his run-up to correct the problem; and, the ICC introduced a new law to declare a delivery a no-ball, rather than a dead ball, if the non-striker’s wicket is broken in the act of delivery – a regulation now commonly known as “Finn’s Law”.