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'Disappointed' Finch blames himself for ODI axe

Aaron Finch was dropped in favour of Usman Khawaja after a slump in form that saw him fail to score a century in his last 19 innings

Australia opening batsman Aaron Finch admitted that he had only himself to blame after being dropped from the ODI squad for the five-match series against Pakistan, starting January 13.
Finch has seven hundreds in 77 ODIs but was dropped in favour of Usman Khawaja after a slump in form that saw him fail to score a century in his last 19 innings. He has reached fifty just four times in that period.
After his team, the Renegades, were thrashed by crosstown rivals Stars in the BBL's Melbourne derby on Saturday, Finch said: "I was disappointed but I can't really kick cans. I haven't made may runs in the last couple of series. It's something like 215 runs in 10 hits and that's just not really good enough. When you have guys performing well in this [the BBL] and the Matador Cup - of course I'm disappointed but I have no one to blame but myself."
Finch learnt of his axing on Thursday and had to bite his tongue at a pre-derby press conference before the squad was announced.
"They just said make some more runs," Finch said. "When Trevor [Hohns, the interim head of the selection panel] rang me I just said 'I can't disagree with you, which is the sad thing'. Usually when you're dropped you want to be able to fire back some bullets but I had absolutely nothing!"
Finch has made 144 runs in four BBL innings this season but again fell when set against the Stars, making 27 in his side's 46-run defeat. In a finely-poised BBL season, he said he did not take any consolation in being able to stick around and help his franchise qualify for the finals rather than joining up with Australia.
"I don't really see that as a silver lining, no," he said. "You never want to be dropped, and any time you get an opportunity to play for Australia you take it with both hands no matter what's happening around you. I'm disappointed not to have that opportunity now but I only have myself to blame. I can't be too disappointed.
"I need to stop making 30s and 20s and start making match-winning scores. I haven't done that. I'm trying to get the side off to a good start but I've got out when I've done the hard work, which is frustrating. I'm hitting them beautifully at the moment and picking it up well but just getting out. I got deceived a bit for length today but that happens when you're going hard in a T20. When a guy gets in at the top everyone can bat around them but I'm not doing that at the moment - I'm exposing new batsmen at once, which is not ideal."

Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp