World T20 2016 March 14, 2016

Finch unsure of a spot in the Australian XI

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'I'm just getting prepared to play as everyone is' - Finch

Aaron Finch, who had been Australia's T20 captain until January, has said that he isn't sure of making the XI when Australia take on New Zealand in their opening match of the World T20 in Dharamsala on Friday.

"I've got no idea, to be honest," Finch said. "I'm just getting prepared to play as everyone is. I'm sure the selectors will make a call once they see the wicket."

Finch is vying for the second opener's slot in the team, considering Shane Watson's good form and all-round skills makes him a certainty as first opener. Watson struck a blistering century in the third T20I against India earlier this year and also enjoyed a decent run in the Pakistan Super League. More recently, he scored 60 in a World T20 warm-up tie against West Indies.

Finch, who is the No. 1-ranked T20I batsman, faces stiff competition from Khawaja, who was the second-highest run-scorer in the 2015-16 Big Bash League. Khawaja has also done well in Indian conditions - he scored 267 runs at 66.75 in four List A matches for Australia A last year in a triangular series, also involving South Africa A.

Finch, while not as consistent, has notched up a few good scores of his own, including an 18-ball 40 against South Africa in Durban. "I feel really good with my game at the moment," he said. "I feel as though I'm hitting the ball really well, so if I get the first crack at it, I'm ready to go.

"We get up there (Dharamshala) on Tuesday, train on Wednesday and Thursday, so we'll probably have a really good chance to have a look at the wicket then and the guys (selectors) can make a decision then."

If the selectors do opt for Khawaja, it would give Australia a left-right opening combination. "It's probably less important in the first six overs, the left hand-right hand combination," Finch said. "From my point of view, it's about trying to get us off to a quick start. I'm sure Shane (Watson) is thinking the same and Uzzie (Khawaja) is probably in the same boat.

"If Khawaja gets his opportunity, it's about getting us off to a flyer while the ball is new and hard and then you can afford to probably have a bit more of a look through that middle period when spin comes on and they take the pace right off the ball."

Josh Hazlewood felt similar pressure over his place in the XI despite a hat-trick against West Indies.

Australia have four specialist seamers in their squad - Hazlewood, John Hastings, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye - and seam-bowling allrounders in James Faulkner, Mitchell Marsh and Watson. With an eye on the conditions, Hazlewood suggested that the think-tank may be happy with just one frontline fast bowler.

"It could be as simple as that. Depending on the wicket, it could really be one quick and a bunch of allrounders who do play this format a lot of the time," Hazlewood said. Australia may also want to accommodate Ashton Agar or Adam Zampa to take advantage of slow, spin-friendly pitches.

A player forcing his way into the XI after missing out initially is an unlikely scenario according to Hazlewood, given the shorter duration of the World T20.

"The one-day World Cup, it went a little bit longer - six weeks," he said. "If you get that first opportunity and take it in this one, we've got four games in pretty quick time. So I don't think there will be as much chopping and changing, but in saying that it depends on the conditions at each ground."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sunil_Batra on March 15, 2016, 11:34 GMT

    @annoyed we agree for a change, smith is the best captain for all formats and he puts the team first, my top 6would be khawaja, Watson, smith, Warner, maxwell and marsh. @rikoll how is NCN, zampa, rashid, hazelwood, boult not international level as these are all the bowlers khawaja averaged nearly 200 against in the big bash

  • theprince24 on March 15, 2016, 10:15 GMT

    Finch Warner Watson Smith Maxwell Marsh Neville Faulkner Hastings Coulternile Zampa.. Perfect XI fr aussies!

  •   Abhishek Singh on March 15, 2016, 8:03 GMT

    Khawaja can't beat Aaroo Kn finch, Finch is a experience player, he is having lot of exp as compare to Khawaja in International cricket, No doubt Khawaja is in good touch but not enough to replace Aaron Finch....

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 15, 2016, 7:46 GMT

    @liteonon smith is one of the most selfless captains, he always puts the team first and bailey retired on his own terms and it made no sense to have finch as captain when his own position is not guaranteed, @rikool I know the BBL bowlers are not International but they are bloody good and if you actually watched Khawaja you would have seen he was in a class of his own and made world class bowlers look like club cricketers, Khawaja has to come in and I hope selectors and boof get it rihht as I am a big fan of their work

  • annoyedofit on March 15, 2016, 7:38 GMT

    @LITEONON, Smith has NOTHING to do with picking the captain. God only knows where you got that from

  • liteonon on March 15, 2016, 6:51 GMT

    if anyone is challenging his captaincy spot, Smith will not allow them to play. Changed George Bailey from captaincy now Finch. If Smith would have been in indian team he would have changed Dhoni long long ago and made himself captain.

  • VRDBB on March 15, 2016, 6:27 GMT

    Starting XI should be Khawaja, Watson, Finch, Warner (w/k), Smith, Maxwell, Marsh/Agar, Faulkner, Zampa, Hazelwood, Coulter-Nile/Hastings

  •   Sivaa Saanth RS on March 15, 2016, 6:16 GMT

    Their campaign over before Australia decides who will opening for them among Warner, Finch, U Khawaja and Watson. If two of these bat at number three and four (which is logical solution) where will Smith bat? Maxwell is a T20 specialist you can't let him bat at number 5 or below!! Marsh to come at number 6, Faulk at 7, Nevill at 8 should be the solution!

  • Rikool on March 15, 2016, 6:10 GMT

    @ABHIJIT Khwaja is a good batsman. But as the old cliche goes, talent wins you matches but teamwork wins you tornaments. no person can singlehandedly win tournaments. AUSSIES will have to bowl well. they have bled too many runs since the start of the year in limited overs cricket. first against india in odis and then t20 and also against SA in t20s. They dont have a go to bowler. (Starc will be sorely missed.) They won because batters covered up for bowlers

  • Rikool on March 15, 2016, 6:02 GMT

    @PAUL_RAMPLEY NCN and others are good bowlers alright but they are nowhere in the league Starcs, Ashwins, Boults and Steyns. But in leagues like BBL and IPL or any other league in the world apart from the strike bowlers you have other bowlers to feast upon. In international cricket the bowling standards are high. We generally see consistent high scores(say 185+) in league cricket not in international cricket.

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