Cricket Australia (CA) chief selector George Bailey has said that limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch is a leader and there were no plans to look for an alternative ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup to be hosted by Australia later this year.
Criticism has mounted after Finch’s string of poor performances, the latest being a below-par showing in the three-match One-day International series against Pakistan in Lahore, which the tourists lost 1-2. However, Finch finally struck form, scoring a half century in the one-off T20I to end the sub-continent’s tour on a positive note.
Bailey said that there was plenty of time between now and the T20 World Cup in October-November for Finch to find form.
“The leadership he provides, the way that T20 team and the one-day team has been building, we’re starting to get some good buy-in to the way we want to play, on the back of the way the squad played in that T20 World Cup,” Bailey told cricket.com.au on Friday.
Under Finch, Australia won their maiden ICC T20 World Cup trophy in the UAE last year, defeating Trans-Tasmania neighbours New Zealand.
Bailey added that Finch’s return to form in the T20I game against Pakistan hadn’t come as a surprise. Finch’s 55 in a winning cause in the T20 game — his first half century in 17 innings for the country — has eased the pressure on the 35-year-old ahead Australia’s T20 World Cup title defence.
Asked whether he was relieved at Finch getting a half century, Bailey said, “Not relieved — always know it’s coming with Finchy. He’s said it himself that he’d have liked to have contributed more… he’d like to be scoring more runs.
“We have so much cricket from now until that T20 World Cup and the build-up to the one-day World Cup that he’s got a great opportunity, and probably now a little bit of time to focus… on a couple of little technical things that he wants to work on, which is great,” said Bailey.
Finch went through a similar poor run of form in the lead up to the 2019 and 2021 World Cups but after getting the backing of the selectors, he returned to his best.
“I’m confident Finchy will come good and be firing in the lead up to and including the World Cup,” added Bailey.