Finn, who wasn’t a regular choice for the Ashes 2015 and came as a substitute in the playing XI for injured Mark Wood, has shown that his hard work has brought him back to the ideal line and length that helped him in becoming the youngest English player to bag 50 Test wickets.
But with Australia on 121-6 and staring at a two-day defeat, Anderson left the pitch mid-over with a suspected side strain to give England genuine concern ahead of the fourth Test, which begins at Trent Bridge in a week’s time.
Earlier, Australia dismissed England for a first-innings 281, with Joe Root hitting 63 and Moeen Ali 59. Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon finished with three wickets apiece, while Johnson and Mitchell Starc ended with two each.
Peter Nevill was 37 not out after being dropped on 35 when Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper, failed to hold on to what would have been a stunning diving catch off Stuart Broad.
He immediately replaced Starc with Mitchell Johnson, but to no avail and eventually more merriment in the crowd at the expense of the Australian they prefer to mock most.
Only leg-spin great Shane Warne and fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee and Brett Lee had previously taken 300 Test wickets for Australia.
At lunch on the second day, England were 221 for seven.
But the story was so different when he last faced Michael Clarke’s side and was taken apart by Brad Haddin in the opening Test of the 2013 Ashes campaign, then axed from the side for the rest of the series and told to go back to county cricket to find some form.
An excellent catch by Adam Lyth started the middle-order collapse, snaffling the Aussie skipper Clarke for three, with Adam Voges following his captain the next delivery edging to Ian Bell.
Mitchell Marsh saw off the hat-trick ball, allowing it to pass by off stump, but had made just five when his bails were sent flying by the towering Finn.
Starc, however, continued to strike the ball well and his straight six off spinner Moeen Ali saw the left-hander to an 83-ball fifty, including six fours. “I think it’s good there’s that possibility of us bowling better than that, which is really exciting”, Anderson said.
The paceman took the wicket of David Warner on day two before succumbing to the injury.
Controversy also stalked the first session of the third day with England being denied a wicket they ought to have had.
However England could challenge neither decision having used up all their reviews last night – a mistake which came at a cost of a further 26 runs.
“Every cricketer goes through ups and downs no matter how high or how low”.