Australian batting stalwart and white-ball skipper Aaron Finch, who announced his retirement from One-day International (ODI) cricket on Sunday, conceded he wouldn’t have made it to the side for the 50-over World Cup in India next year as his form and left shoulder injuries had been giving him trouble for quite some time.
Finch’s poor form, which has plagued him since much before the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE last year, continued in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand currently underway, with the 35-year-old opening batter getting dismissed in bizarre fashion for a duck in the second match at Cairns on September 8.
In the opening match of the series too, he made just five runs before he was dismissed by Black Caps quick Trent Boult.
Though Australia have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, Finch’s dismal form has become a headache for the side as it prepares to defend its T20 World Cup crown at home in October-November this year.
With more than a year still to go for the ODI World Cup in India, Finch said the time was right for him to call it a day from the 50-over format.
“Being a bit over 12 months out from the 50-over World Cup (in India), I thought the timing was right now,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au in Cairns, ahead of his final ODI assignment — the third games of the series against the Kiwis.
“It’s important that whoever takes over the captaincy from now, whoever opens the batting from now is given the best opportunity to take the team forward and win the World Cup in 2023. I’m very comfortable and very confident that I wouldn’t have made it that far,” he added.
Australia will play three ODIs against England in November following the T20 World Cup, with the final match to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Finch said that while the MCG would have been the perfect setting to end his ODI career, he wanted to take a selfless approach, giving other talented players to take his place in the series against traditional arch-rivals.
“I could have tried to play another series, the (ODI) series against England post the World Cup and that would have been a fairy tale finish at the MCG. But that’s never been my style, to be self-indulgent in any kind of way.”
Finch said the thought to retire from ODIs had first crossed his mind prior to the season commencing in Townsville, Queensland against Zimbabwe a few weeks ago.
The batting stalwart’s form has deserted him this year with the 35-year-old scoring 23, 0 and 0 in Pakistan and following that with 44, 14, 62, 0 and 0 in Sri Lanka.
“I’d thought about it (retirement) in the lead up to the to Zimbabwe series,” admitted Finch.
“It wasn’t a thing where I woke up in the morning and just knew, but I knew it was very close to coming to the end. The other day, I had a good chat with the coach Andrew McDonald after the Zimbabwe series and he wanted me to keep taking a bit of time and make sure that I was making the right decision.
“I think that you need to be able to give the new captain as much space and as much time to start to ingrain the way that they want to play and take the team forward.”
Finch will continue to captain the T20 side in the World Cup at home next month.
“I think my T20 form has been pretty good for a little while now. In terms of my personal game, there’s not a huge amount of a difference (between ODIs and T20s). But over the last little while my numbers in T20 have been reasonably good and my ODIs haven’t. Maybe it’s a bit of intent. Maybe it’s a little bit of risk taking that sometimes you get away with any T20,” added Finch.
Finch is contracted with Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League.