Australia’s Finch wants to carry on ‘exciting’ T20 journey

Published September 20, 2022
AUSTRALIA captain Aaron Finch bats during a nets session at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Monday.—AFP
AUSTRALIA captain Aaron Finch bats during a nets session at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Monday.—AFP

MOHALI: Australia’s Aaron Finch finds Twenty20 cricket “exciting” and has no immediate plans to quit the format, the 35-year-old said ahead of their three-match series against India on Monday.

Australia’s white-ball captain Finch quit one-day cricket after the home series against New Zealand earlier this month following a prolonged run drought in that format but brushed aside criticism over his own form.

Finch led Australia to their maiden Twenty20 World Cup title last year and will spearhead their title defence on home soil next month.

“I’m not putting an end date on anything T20 related just yet,” the opener told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against India in Mohali.

“It’s still exciting. I love touring with the Australian team. In T20 cricket I feel as though my form has been really good for quite a while now. If you separate the ODI form and the T20 form, they’re totally different.”

Power-hitter Tim David, who has played 14 Twenty20 Internationals for Singapore, is set to make his Australia debut in a series pitting the world champions against the top ranked Twenty20 team.

Finch had no doubt the 26-year-old, a familiar face in Twenty20 leagues, was ready for cricket at the elite level but stopped short of confirming whether David would be making his international debut, saying the playing XI would be decided after taking final stock of the wicket in Mohali.

David has made his way into Australia’s World Cup squad following impressive performances in domestic short-format leagues around the world including the Indian Premier League, England’s Hundred and Pakistan and Caribbean leagues.

“Tim has been super impressive for a long period of time in T20 cricket,” Finch told reporters. “He’s someone who we know has got the power obviously, he has shown that all around the world where ever he has played.

“Being an overseas player [in franchise cricket] has its challenges at times, because the expectations are high. So the fact that Tim has experienced that all around the world already — that prepares you as well as you can for international cricket.

“The fact that he has come in the squad with such a great attitude, he’s been training brilliantly. He’s been outstanding.”

With opener David Warner being rested for the series and batting all-rounders Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis out with injuries, David’s debut appears imminent.

The series serves as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup to be hosted by Australia next month, and Finch said there would be a “little bit of mixing and matching” in the absence of some first-choice players.

Test captain Pat Cummins has returned after a 10-week break to bolster Australia’s bowling department which would test its mettle against India’s star-studded batting lineup including Virat Kohli.

Kohli snapped out of his batting slump at the Asia Cup earlier this month smashing his first international century since November, 2019.

Finch said it would be silly to write off the India batsman.

“You’d be a very, very brave man to write off Virat at any stage,” Finch said. “He’s shown for 15 years now that he’s one of the greatest players of all time.

“Particularly in T20 cricket, he’s someone who has developed and grown his game over such a long period that you always plan and prepare the best when you are coming up against him. He’s superb. He’s got 71 international hundreds. That’s just ridiculous, isn’t it?”

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2022

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