Finch injury makes room for Head and Handscomb
Aaron Finch's calf problem means an ODI recall for Peter Handscomb, but should also mean a fresh top-order opportunity for Travis Head when Australia's series against India begins in Chennai on Sunday.
While Handscomb is being flown in as cover for Finch, it is likely that Head will partner vice-captain David Warner at the top of the order, after the pair did so fruitfully last summer.
"Aaron re-aggravated his pre-existing calf injury during warm-up at training yesterday," the team physio Alex Kountouris said. "He has had a scan in Chennai and although we believe it is not a serious recurrence he will not be available for the first few one day matches here in India. He will remain with the squad whilst we assess the injury and establish his return to play timelines."
Head is one of a handful of players being mentioned in dispatches as a possible option at No. 6 during the forthcoming Ashes series, and the captain Steven Smith has indicated that it was still possible for someone to force their way into calculations for the first Test at the Gabba via the limited-overs matches in India - much as George Bailey had done four years ago.
Others in contention include Glenn Maxwell, Hilton Cartwright and Marcus Stoinis, but Head now appears likely to get the advantage of batting up the order early until Finch's return to full fitness.
"Hopefully the chance to go up the order again," he said said when asked about his hopes for the series. "Since I have come to the side, I feel confident. It was nice to get some time in the middle the other day [in the warm-up game]. I stay pretty relaxed and play the conditions and what is needed at certain time of the game. Try to stay pretty open minded.
"[The year] has gone by pretty quickly. It has gone really well. As soon as I have stepped back in, I have got runs. I feel very welcome in this side. They let you express yourself as much as possible. That's what I feel most comfortable. I know somewhere around the line I have to make sure to make it happen."