Cricket Australia selection committee chief George Bailey has backed out-of-form limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch for the ICC T20 World Cup at home this year, saying that the 35-year-old is still being troubled by a knee injury that required surgery last year.
Finch could manage just 78 runs from five innings during Australia’s 4-1 T20I series win against Sri Lanka recently, with the experienced right-hander struggling to find the middle of the bat. He managed just eight runs in the final game as Australia lost by five wickets at the MCG.
Bailey said that the three-match ODI series against Pakistan in March-April will benefit Finch as far as his return to form is concerned.
Finch had hit a lean patch exactly 12 months back as well and Bailey had endorsed the Victorian to lead Australia at the T20 World Cup in the UAE, which they won by defeating trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
Asked if he had any doubts about Finch leading Australia in the T20 World Cup at home, Bailey said, “No, I don’t.”
“I’m sure that Finchy would have liked a few more runs in the series just gone (against Sri Lanka), there’s no doubt about that. But also putting it into context, he’s still battling that knee injury a little bit. So what Finchy will have in between the end of that series (against Sri Lanka) and coming away on this tour (to Pakistan) will be a chance to continue working on that,” Bailey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Tuesday.
“In T20 cricket, you can play a lot without actually getting a lot of time in the middle. So I’m really excited that Finchy will get some one-day cricket in the near future (in Pakistan), and that ability to spend a longer time at the crease will really benefit him as well.”
Finch and batting stalwart David Warner are expected to open in the T20 World Cup in October-November this year, but the composition of the middle order is still not clear yet.