Infotainment Factory: Finch at odds with legends over World Cup call

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Monday, 15 April 2019

Finch at odds with legends over World Cup call


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Aaron Finch’s assertion that either David Warner or Usman Khawaja could bat at three during the upcoming World Cup has placed him at odds with former skippers Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell.

Warner’s return from suspension has created a dilemma for selectors, with Finch and Khawaja forming a formidable opening pair against both India and Pakistan last month.

Finch and Khawaja’s partnership at the top of the order has coincided with an upswing in the fortunes of the Australian side. After losing 22 of their previous 26 ODIs, the side has won eight consecutive matches.

“There is going to be plenty to think about over the next six, eight, 10 weeks to start working back from that first game (June 1) and try to find our best combination and, probably, our best way to structure up our side,” Finch said.

“Davey's record at the top is unbelievable. 'Uzzie' has been in great nick recently. Whichever way we go, there is probably scope to mix and match that to that tournament as well ... there is nothing set in stone right now.”

Finch has all but confirmed he’ll slot into one of the opening spots, with Warner and Khawaja battling for the remaining position, although he left the door open to all three playing, and either Warner or Khawaja batting at first drop.

“I probably have the least experience out of everyone in that position in limited overs cricket. So, like I said, it will be something that we will juggle and we will tinker with,” he said.

“I think a left-hand, right-hand combination probably will be the way that we go – just depending on which left-hander. We will wait and see.”

Khawaja’s 769 runs makes him the world’s leading runscorer in ODIs in 2019, but the stats show he is much more suited to opening. At the top of the order he averages 53.63 at a strike rate of 86, that drops to an average of 24.33 and strike rate of 72 when he bats at three.

Both Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell left Khawaja out of their starting eleven, with Taylor admitting it was a harsh call, but he couldn’t find a spot for him with Finch partnering Warner at the top of the order.

“The problem I see with Khawaja is, if he doesn’t open the batting, I’m concerned he may not be the best option at three, four, five or six,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports recently.

“If Australia are one for not many, Khawaja might be handy at three, but if Australia gets off to a reasonable start, you probably want someone who’s a little more explosive at three.”

Aaron Finch has suggested either David Warner or Usman Khawaja could bat at number three.

It’s a view backed up by Chappell, who also believes Warner should open alongside Finch.

“I think [Khawaja] is more effective if he’s opening; opening’s the best place to bat in one-day cricket. The other concern you’ve got is Khawaja’s fielding, he’s not that flash in the field in my opinion,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

“If he’s not going to be opening, I’m not sure that there’s a spot for him.”

Australia will play warm up matches against England and Sri Lanka in late May, before the opening match of the World Cup against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

Aaron Finch’s assertion that either David Warner or Usman Khawaja could bat at three during the upcoming World Cup has placed him at odds with former skippers Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell.

Warner’s return from suspension has created a dilemma for selectors, with Finch and Khawaja forming a formidable opening pair against both India and Pakistan last month.

Finch and Khawaja’s partnership at the top of the order has coincided with an upswing in the fortunes of the Australian side. After losing 22 of their previous 26 ODIs, the side has won eight consecutive matches.

“There is going to be plenty to think about over the next six, eight, 10 weeks to start working back from that first game (June 1) and try to find our best combination and, probably, our best way to structure up our side,” Finch said.

“Davey's record at the top is unbelievable. 'Uzzie' has been in great nick recently. Whichever way we go, there is probably scope to mix and match that to that tournament as well ... there is nothing set in stone right now.”

Finch has all but confirmed he’ll slot into one of the opening spots, with Warner and Khawaja battling for the remaining position, although he left the door open to all three playing, and either Warner or Khawaja batting at first drop.

“I probably have the least experience out of everyone in that position in limited overs cricket. So, like I said, it will be something that we will juggle and we will tinker with,” he said.

“I think a left-hand, right-hand combination probably will be the way that we go – just depending on which left-hander. We will wait and see.”

Khawaja’s 769 runs makes him the world’s leading runscorer in ODIs in 2019, but the stats show he is much more suited to opening. At the top of the order he averages 53.63 at a strike rate of 86, that drops to an average of 24.33 and strike rate of 72 when he bats at three.

Both Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell left Khawaja out of their starting eleven, with Taylor admitting it was a harsh call, but he couldn’t find a spot for him with Finch partnering Warner at the top of the order.

“The problem I see with Khawaja is, if he doesn’t open the batting, I’m concerned he may not be the best option at three, four, five or six,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports recently.

“If Australia are one for not many, Khawaja might be handy at three, but if Australia gets off to a reasonable start, you probably want someone who’s a little more explosive at three.”

Aaron Finch has suggested either David Warner or Usman Khawaja could bat at number three.

It’s a view backed up by Chappell, who also believes Warner should open alongside Finch.

“I think [Khawaja] is more effective if he’s opening; opening’s the best place to bat in one-day cricket. The other concern you’ve got is Khawaja’s fielding, he’s not that flash in the field in my opinion,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

“If he’s not going to be opening, I’m not sure that there’s a spot for him.”

Australia will play warm up matches against England and Sri Lanka in late May, before the opening match of the World Cup against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

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