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News

Finch to continue batting lower in T20Is as Australia prepare for all scenarios

Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc will be rested for the final two T20Is in Melbourne

"I could potentially bat five in the next couple of games, although the coach isn't too excited about that prospect"  •  Getty Images

"I could potentially bat five in the next couple of games, although the coach isn't too excited about that prospect"  •  Getty Images

Aaron Finch's move away from opening might become more frequent but do not expect Australia's white-ball captain to displace Mitch Marsh at No. 3.
Eyebrows were raised when Ashton Agar opened in place of Finch in Australia's T20I victory against Sri Lanka on Tuesday night. Part of the thinking was to stretch the batting line-up as much as possible and leave Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade at Nos. 6 and 7 respectively to give them more continuity in those roles after their pivotal performances in Australia's T20 World Cup success.
"We're just trying a few different combinations to see where we land and get a bit more information with the World Cup (this year)," Finch said. "I think Mitch Marsh did a pretty amazing job of batting at three during the World Cup and throughout the West Indies and Bangladesh tours as well."
Finch is one of Australia's finest-ever limited-overs openers, but instead came into bat at first drop in Canberra. The 35-year-old sees himself batting as low as No. 5 if needed, something he has done for Australia back in 2018, as the team plans towards defending their World Cup crown on home soil.
Marsh, a hero in Australia's World Cup triumph in the UAE last year, is sitting out the five-match series against Sri Lanka to prepare for the upcoming Pakistan tour. But Finch and interim coach Andrew McDonald are keen to tinker with new combinations and plan for all scenarios ahead of this October and November's bumper T20 tournament.
"Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, between them they've had a big workload from the World Cup into the Ashes, and Josh coming off a bit of an injury. They're going to Pakistan shortly, so we felt that was important for them to stay at home"
Aaron Finch
"I could potentially bat five in the next couple of games, although the coach isn't too excited about that prospect but it's something we'll talk through and see what we want going forward," Finch said.
With the series already wrapped up following victories in the opening three matches, key quicks Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will now rest to get ready for Pakistan. All three flew home to Sydney after the 3rd T20I in Canberra, while the rest of the squad travelled to Melbourne.
Jhye Richardson, who starred in Australia's Test victory over England in Adelaide before making way for Scott Boland, should return for Friday night's T20I at the MCG. And star white-ball legspinner Adam Zampa is a certainty to be back after sitting out the third match.
"Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, between them they've had a big workload from the World Cup into the Ashes, and Josh coming off a bit of an injury," Finch said. "They're going to Pakistan shortly, so we felt that was important for them to stay at home and get out of the (bio-security) bubble for a day or two."
Australia's Test squad will gather in Melbourne after Sunday's T20I series finale before getting ready to embark on the historic tour of Pakistan.