Australia news April 15, 2013

Aaron Finch weighs up NSW offer

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Aaron Finch's increasingly fraught efforts to make a first-class batsman of himself may lead the Victorian to New South Wales, after the Blues made him a state contract offer for next summer.

Conspicuous as a Twenty20 and limited-overs batsman, formats in which he has represented Australia, Finch nurses a mediocre record in four-day matches, having reaped only 1528 runs at 29.96 in 30 matches with two centuries.

Finch's struggles to convert his natural ability and power into consistent first-class performance sum up a wider batting problem in Australian cricket, as the generations following those of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have failed to produce the prolific tallies that would have helped maintain the nation's place as an international power.

Perhaps aware of the need to change this indifferent record, Finch requested release from his current contract with the Bushrangers to seek out other options, and New South Wales have opened up an avenue for the 27-year-old to move north for next summer. Finch is weighing up the offer, which would stretch him to perform in the tight battle for places in the New South Wales batting order.

The Blues have already lost one significant name after the young legspinner Adam Zampa elected to accept an offer from South Australia, who were able to offer him a virtually guaranteed place in their teams across the Sheffield Shield, limited-overs and T20 competitions.

A less certain future awaits the sometime Australia allrounder Daniel Christian, who ended 2012-13 out of the South Australia team after a difficult summer in which his harvest of runs and wickets dried up while he also faced disciplinary sanctions for repeatedly losing his composure in the dressing rooms after being dismissed.

Still under contract to the Redbacks for next season, Christian may nonetheless find himself moving elsewhere, with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane all possible destinations.

There is the chance that another former Australian representative, the highly regarded but injury-blighted Andrew McDonald, may move across to Adelaide, where he is already contracted to the Strikers in the Big Bash League. Like Finch, McDonald requested a release from his Victoria contract as the recruitment period opened up.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nthuq on April 15, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    If this move works for him, that's fine, but NSW isn't probably the best state to move to considering the mess they've been in. That said if he does come off for NSW, they could definitely use a good batsman. As for Zampa's move to SA, that's just plain odd considering Botha's already a decent spin option, as is Lyon whenever he's not on international duties. Is Adelaide going to turn into a dustbowl and SA into a team with 3 spinners?

  • riley22 on April 20, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Astonishing that SA would want an injury riddled Mcdonald, and that Victoria wants Christian. Too many not quite batsmen, not quite bowlers around when Australia is crying out for some young batsmen to step up. Having these two never to play for Australia again all rounders still playing Shield does nothing for the future of Test cricket here. And on that subject- is Cameron White to be given yet another year as Victorian captain?

  • on April 17, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Looking at Zampa i´m not so sure it is a great move, Adelaide was never a productive wicket for Warnie. Like everyone else I wouldn´t mind seeing it change, if the day 1 wicket became more like a day 3 wicket that offered some variable bounce and broke up towards the end of the match it wouldn´t hurt the shield competion at all.

  • camcove on April 17, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    I'm glad to see a refererence to Cullen Bailey (Meety, I believe). I also thought he had great potential. He is late 20s now and should be reaching maturity, but with Muirhead and Zampa going to SA he probably won't get a game. Does anyone know if he has progressed as a bowler? He showed batting promise also and may have concentrated on that side of his game. I will also be interested to watch WA next year. If Agar lives up to his early promise, Beer might find it hard to get into the WA side on a consistent basis. I hope Holland's shoulder reconstruction has been a success, because the combination of his left arm orthodox and Ahmed's leggies could be very effective for the Vics. I wonder how spin friendly the MCG and Adelaide Oval will be compared to the other grounds? It wouldn't be a bad thing for Aussie batting if they did give the spinners a friendly surface, compared to the seamers' paradises we've seen a lot of recently.

  • zenboomerang on April 16, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Really hope McDonald moves to SA as he would be a great inclusion in the middle order allrounder... The Redbacks (like Oz) seem to have lost their batsmen last season - still think SA need another quality batsman as Hughes will likely be missing for most of the season...

    A bit surprised by CNSW approaching Finch - but then again he is a leading batsman in the shorter formats & any State would want him for that alone - may find it tougher for FC games though... As for Dan (Christian) I really can't see any State wanting him after last seasons efforts - his best bet would be to regain some form (& composure) in SA & fight his way back into the Redbacks squad next season...

  • zenboomerang on April 16, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    @Wefinishthis - glad you stated the obvious - the player needs of squads changes markedly even within 1 season...

    O'Keefe dropped the captaincy to focus fully on bowling & higher honors - Zampa facing an ever growing good fast bowling squad will get little if any game time for NSW in the next few seasons... Fawad & Agar are fast becoming names to the NSP along with Dutchy who should be back soon, so it is a no-brainer to move to a weaker FC State to get "guaranteed" game time & work with a captain & coach that are spin friendly in their outlooks... All power to him...

  • Mary_786 on April 16, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    @ILikeCricket is correct, these moves often pay off well, Khawaja and Hughes did very well under their new states and got back in the Aus team due to the change of setup and hard work, same could work for Finch. However i am sure the Bushrangers will do their best to keep Finch.

  • Wefinishthis on April 16, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    If O'Keefe was in the Australian team as he was supposed to be, this wouldn't have been a problem, but the NSW selection panel are almost as bad as the NSP anyway (are Henry and Dawson really our top 6? really?). Lyon is not a bad bowler, but he's not going to get us back to no.1 and therefore isn't worth persisting with. Very good move from Zampa, he has the potential to help get us back to no.1, so let's see how he does getting regular games in the shield. Big win for Zampa, Biggest loss for NSW since losing Jackson Bird.

  • on April 16, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Okay really simple Lyon wont play all season considering the one dayers are in line with the big bash. Botha is an allrounder he averages 30+ bat and ball and will be the second spinner. Personally I think this is a great deal for Zampa sounds a lot better than being second spinner in NSW.

  • Rowayton on April 16, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    While Adelaide is traditionally a batsman friendly wicket, the advantage of that as a spinner is that you actually get a bowl! Not much point playing somewhere where the seamers regularly bowl sides out for 150. Anyway South Australia has produced a few Test spinners over the years - Mallett, Jenner, May, Sleep, McIntyre (even if some of these originally came from elsewhere), so there must be some potential there for a young bloke to perform.

  • nthuq on April 15, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    If this move works for him, that's fine, but NSW isn't probably the best state to move to considering the mess they've been in. That said if he does come off for NSW, they could definitely use a good batsman. As for Zampa's move to SA, that's just plain odd considering Botha's already a decent spin option, as is Lyon whenever he's not on international duties. Is Adelaide going to turn into a dustbowl and SA into a team with 3 spinners?

  • riley22 on April 20, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Astonishing that SA would want an injury riddled Mcdonald, and that Victoria wants Christian. Too many not quite batsmen, not quite bowlers around when Australia is crying out for some young batsmen to step up. Having these two never to play for Australia again all rounders still playing Shield does nothing for the future of Test cricket here. And on that subject- is Cameron White to be given yet another year as Victorian captain?

  • on April 17, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Looking at Zampa i´m not so sure it is a great move, Adelaide was never a productive wicket for Warnie. Like everyone else I wouldn´t mind seeing it change, if the day 1 wicket became more like a day 3 wicket that offered some variable bounce and broke up towards the end of the match it wouldn´t hurt the shield competion at all.

  • camcove on April 17, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    I'm glad to see a refererence to Cullen Bailey (Meety, I believe). I also thought he had great potential. He is late 20s now and should be reaching maturity, but with Muirhead and Zampa going to SA he probably won't get a game. Does anyone know if he has progressed as a bowler? He showed batting promise also and may have concentrated on that side of his game. I will also be interested to watch WA next year. If Agar lives up to his early promise, Beer might find it hard to get into the WA side on a consistent basis. I hope Holland's shoulder reconstruction has been a success, because the combination of his left arm orthodox and Ahmed's leggies could be very effective for the Vics. I wonder how spin friendly the MCG and Adelaide Oval will be compared to the other grounds? It wouldn't be a bad thing for Aussie batting if they did give the spinners a friendly surface, compared to the seamers' paradises we've seen a lot of recently.

  • zenboomerang on April 16, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Really hope McDonald moves to SA as he would be a great inclusion in the middle order allrounder... The Redbacks (like Oz) seem to have lost their batsmen last season - still think SA need another quality batsman as Hughes will likely be missing for most of the season...

    A bit surprised by CNSW approaching Finch - but then again he is a leading batsman in the shorter formats & any State would want him for that alone - may find it tougher for FC games though... As for Dan (Christian) I really can't see any State wanting him after last seasons efforts - his best bet would be to regain some form (& composure) in SA & fight his way back into the Redbacks squad next season...

  • zenboomerang on April 16, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    @Wefinishthis - glad you stated the obvious - the player needs of squads changes markedly even within 1 season...

    O'Keefe dropped the captaincy to focus fully on bowling & higher honors - Zampa facing an ever growing good fast bowling squad will get little if any game time for NSW in the next few seasons... Fawad & Agar are fast becoming names to the NSP along with Dutchy who should be back soon, so it is a no-brainer to move to a weaker FC State to get "guaranteed" game time & work with a captain & coach that are spin friendly in their outlooks... All power to him...

  • Mary_786 on April 16, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    @ILikeCricket is correct, these moves often pay off well, Khawaja and Hughes did very well under their new states and got back in the Aus team due to the change of setup and hard work, same could work for Finch. However i am sure the Bushrangers will do their best to keep Finch.

  • Wefinishthis on April 16, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    If O'Keefe was in the Australian team as he was supposed to be, this wouldn't have been a problem, but the NSW selection panel are almost as bad as the NSP anyway (are Henry and Dawson really our top 6? really?). Lyon is not a bad bowler, but he's not going to get us back to no.1 and therefore isn't worth persisting with. Very good move from Zampa, he has the potential to help get us back to no.1, so let's see how he does getting regular games in the shield. Big win for Zampa, Biggest loss for NSW since losing Jackson Bird.

  • on April 16, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Okay really simple Lyon wont play all season considering the one dayers are in line with the big bash. Botha is an allrounder he averages 30+ bat and ball and will be the second spinner. Personally I think this is a great deal for Zampa sounds a lot better than being second spinner in NSW.

  • Rowayton on April 16, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    While Adelaide is traditionally a batsman friendly wicket, the advantage of that as a spinner is that you actually get a bowl! Not much point playing somewhere where the seamers regularly bowl sides out for 150. Anyway South Australia has produced a few Test spinners over the years - Mallett, Jenner, May, Sleep, McIntyre (even if some of these originally came from elsewhere), so there must be some potential there for a young bloke to perform.

  • I-Like-Cricket on April 16, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    @nthuq, well it'd probably do a bit of good for Australian cricket, we might actually develop a decent spinner and some batsmen who can play spin.

    Though if I were Finch I'd probably make my way to the Bulls, it worked for Hughes and Khawaja.

  • on April 16, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Hussey and Ponting must play in the Ashes. They are both back in form and there are no better suitable candidates. Australia will not win the Ashes without them

  • Meety on April 16, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Didn't Sth Oz poach the young leggie Muirhead? (or was it just they approached him). This is dissappointing news to me - as it almost certainly means that Cullen Bailey will never realise his potential. I thought he was a talent. Agree with other comments - is Adelaide now going to be the centre of the spin-bowling universe in Oz? @Mitty2 on (April 15, 2013, 15:20 GMT) - the top 3 have looked a bit dusty for most of the season (even when the Test players were in - LOL). I think with Henry though - he is a bit better than his record shows - as his big ton against SL was not deemed FC, if that was in he'd be averaging a whopping 35ish which would make him a prospect (I say that sort of tongue in cheek).

  • Batmanian on April 15, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    It's great to see he's chasing first class form and/or opportunities, and therefore Tests. From what I can tell, it's less that he and McDonald are entitled to feel hard done by at the Bushrangers, more that a change of scene might help them.

    Finch could easily rack up more money of playing T20 than anyone could dream about ten years ago, and probably will, but Tests are the only way to posterity.

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 15, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Good decisions from both Zampa and Finch. Zampa specially needed this to showcase his skills. The odd thing is that he will probably play with Botha playing as an all-rounder at no.6, the same role Steve O'Keefe played for NSW.

  • Thefakebook on April 15, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Good on you Finchy he will score runs in any state good move.He will be a regular ODI player soon.South Australia play 7 spinners in all formats wow that's got be a record for a domestic Australian side,make that 8 with Zampa. No wonder the 9th spinner Dan Christian(yes Marlon Samuels bowls faster than him) is leaving. Ronald McDonald is past his prime now its does not matter where he plays.

  • Mitty2 on April 15, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Have you guys seen the openers NSW are putting out there? Henry and Dawson from memory are both averaging around 25... Finch is obviously talented but never made the most of his talent in the shield (or in the ODI's for that matter...), and it's a good move for both him and NSW.

    On the zampa issue, he wasn't really getting games for NSW so fine with that as well. And Botha couldnt turn a ball to save himself, south Australia just had a successful pace bowling attack of mennie and Sayers so there wasn't really a need for a spinner, but they definitely needed the extra batting of Botha. Hopefully that will change and zampa can play all games.

  • YL89 on April 15, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Finch to NSW appears a strange move on the face of it, but if you look at the teams NSW was putting out in the Shield towards the end of last season (Copeland batting at 7, fringe players like Cruickshank, Daniel Hughes etc getting games) there are definitely one or two spots available in their batting order.

  • YL89 on April 15, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Zampa will play pretty much every game for SA because 1) Botha wants to play as an all-rounder, and 2) Lyon will be away on international duty for most games.

  • on April 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Aaron Finch is a wonderful limited overs batsman and he should certainly get opportunities in the limited overs teams of NSW. However, competition in the first class team is tight, so tight that Ed Cowan and David Warner (Australia's openers) couldn't get any sort of run of games for NSW. The NSW team is weaker than it was in the past, however, so maybe Finch can get a run in the first class team. But he will have to perform.

  • straightbreakbowler6 on April 15, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    It would be a bad thing if Adelaide became a spin friendly ground, where 3 spinners could be played. At least it would give Australia another ground with some character. At the moment all the grounds have become similar drop in pitch grounds. It would be nice to see the state grounds take on some individual character to make them testing venues for the state batsman. Perth fast and bouncy, Adelaide spin friendly, gabba a seamer, etc. At least this would provide a good grounding for our future test batsman. These varied grounds would also mean more players if the selection policy of horses for courses is applied would be exposed to top level cricket. Would this be a bad thing to toughen Australian cricket???

  • on April 15, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    NSW losing Zampa is disasterous. He is a quality bowler who will develop if he is not rushed. I have seen plenty of Zampa who has bowled well in both long and short formats and scored a handy half century in the recent Sydney grade grand final while showcasing his leadership abiliies as captain of Sutherland. NSW could have played Zampa with O"Keefe and played five bowlers - Haddin is definitely good enough to bat at 6 and Copeland and O"Keefe are genuine batsmen at 7 and 8. Terrible news for Sutho and NSW.

  • SirBobJones on April 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    I wondered the same as nthuq, seems odd to me and competition for spots aside, I wouldn't consider the Adelaide Oval an ideal confidence boosting surface for an up-and-coming leg-spinner.

  • SirBobJones on April 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    I wondered the same as nthuq, seems odd to me and competition for spots aside, I wouldn't consider the Adelaide Oval an ideal confidence boosting surface for an up-and-coming leg-spinner.

  • on April 15, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    NSW losing Zampa is disasterous. He is a quality bowler who will develop if he is not rushed. I have seen plenty of Zampa who has bowled well in both long and short formats and scored a handy half century in the recent Sydney grade grand final while showcasing his leadership abiliies as captain of Sutherland. NSW could have played Zampa with O"Keefe and played five bowlers - Haddin is definitely good enough to bat at 6 and Copeland and O"Keefe are genuine batsmen at 7 and 8. Terrible news for Sutho and NSW.

  • straightbreakbowler6 on April 15, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    It would be a bad thing if Adelaide became a spin friendly ground, where 3 spinners could be played. At least it would give Australia another ground with some character. At the moment all the grounds have become similar drop in pitch grounds. It would be nice to see the state grounds take on some individual character to make them testing venues for the state batsman. Perth fast and bouncy, Adelaide spin friendly, gabba a seamer, etc. At least this would provide a good grounding for our future test batsman. These varied grounds would also mean more players if the selection policy of horses for courses is applied would be exposed to top level cricket. Would this be a bad thing to toughen Australian cricket???

  • on April 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Aaron Finch is a wonderful limited overs batsman and he should certainly get opportunities in the limited overs teams of NSW. However, competition in the first class team is tight, so tight that Ed Cowan and David Warner (Australia's openers) couldn't get any sort of run of games for NSW. The NSW team is weaker than it was in the past, however, so maybe Finch can get a run in the first class team. But he will have to perform.

  • YL89 on April 15, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Zampa will play pretty much every game for SA because 1) Botha wants to play as an all-rounder, and 2) Lyon will be away on international duty for most games.

  • YL89 on April 15, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Finch to NSW appears a strange move on the face of it, but if you look at the teams NSW was putting out in the Shield towards the end of last season (Copeland batting at 7, fringe players like Cruickshank, Daniel Hughes etc getting games) there are definitely one or two spots available in their batting order.

  • Mitty2 on April 15, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Have you guys seen the openers NSW are putting out there? Henry and Dawson from memory are both averaging around 25... Finch is obviously talented but never made the most of his talent in the shield (or in the ODI's for that matter...), and it's a good move for both him and NSW.

    On the zampa issue, he wasn't really getting games for NSW so fine with that as well. And Botha couldnt turn a ball to save himself, south Australia just had a successful pace bowling attack of mennie and Sayers so there wasn't really a need for a spinner, but they definitely needed the extra batting of Botha. Hopefully that will change and zampa can play all games.

  • Thefakebook on April 15, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Good on you Finchy he will score runs in any state good move.He will be a regular ODI player soon.South Australia play 7 spinners in all formats wow that's got be a record for a domestic Australian side,make that 8 with Zampa. No wonder the 9th spinner Dan Christian(yes Marlon Samuels bowls faster than him) is leaving. Ronald McDonald is past his prime now its does not matter where he plays.

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 15, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Good decisions from both Zampa and Finch. Zampa specially needed this to showcase his skills. The odd thing is that he will probably play with Botha playing as an all-rounder at no.6, the same role Steve O'Keefe played for NSW.

  • Batmanian on April 15, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    It's great to see he's chasing first class form and/or opportunities, and therefore Tests. From what I can tell, it's less that he and McDonald are entitled to feel hard done by at the Bushrangers, more that a change of scene might help them.

    Finch could easily rack up more money of playing T20 than anyone could dream about ten years ago, and probably will, but Tests are the only way to posterity.