Australia news April 15, 2013

Aaron Finch weighs up NSW offer


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

  • terry 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?

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Bob 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.

  • Roo 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...

  • Roo 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...

  • Mariam 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.

  • Chris 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • David 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.

  • Jessee 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.