Aaron Finch has found some much-needed form heading into the T20 World Cup – but it came in a brand-new role for the Aussie skipper.
Australia defeated West Indies by three wickets in an entertaining affair on Wednesday night, surpassing the visitors’ score of 9/145 with just one ball remaining.
Finch (58) top-scored for his side, but many were left surprised when the captain didn’t open the batting alongside David Warner, instead coming in at No.4 for the Aussies.
Hard yakka 50 for Aaron Finch tonight, he’s kept Australia within reach.
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Instead, it was rising star Cameron Green who would open with Warner, as both men got off to starts but failed to capitalise.
The decision for Finch to bat down the order and allow Green to open is a perplexing one, given the fact the latter isn’t included in Australia’s T20WC squad and Finch will likely have to bat there in the tournament proper.
Aaron Finch has batted 244 times for Australia across all formats.
He has opened in 233 of those innings.
He has never batted at No.4, where he is listed to bat tonight.
It is less than two weeks out from the start of the World Cup.
The 35-year-old had been struggling for form in 50-over cricket and made the tough decision to retire from ODIs prior to the T20WC title defence on home soil, which looms as his last tournament as captain.
Finch said post-game that the decision to bat in the middle-order was down to ‘tinkering’ with the side before the World Cup begins.
“I really enjoy batting in the middle order,” he said.
“We felt as though with ‘Greeny’ batting well at the top of the order, that we might be a bit light on for experience at international level in that No.5 and 6 if we had David and Greeny together there.
“We’ll probably swap it around next game and keep trying a few things.
“We’re going to keep tinkering with things, just to try and make sure we’ve got all bases covered for the World Cup.”
Matthew Wade (39*) also contributed to the win over the West Indies, while both Glenn Maxwell and Tim David were out for ducks.
Australia will kick off their T20WC campaign on October 22nd against New Zealand.