Finch injury leaves captaincy wide open

Aaron Finch injured his hamstring during his 48-ball 74 that went in vain at the MCG on Friday © AFP

Australia’s captain Aaron Finch is almost certainly out of the dead rubber Twenty20 against India and under a cloud for New Zealand and beyond after a hamstring injury has left the selectors scrambling for an alternate leader.

With David Warner and Steven Smith already set to fly to New Zealand on Saturday, Finch’s injury leaves the likes of Shane Watson, Matthew Wade and Shaun Marsh in contention to lead Australia at the SCG, though it may be possible to parachute in the erstwhile T20 leader George Bailey.

Either way, Cricket Australia will be required to arrange a hasty phone hookup to settle the question of the captaincy with all their first three choices unavailable for various reasons.

“Aaron is being assessed at the moment but unfortunately he’s definitely done some form of damage to his hamstring,” Watson said after Australia’s series-sealing defeat. “At this point in time obviously we don’t exactly know the extent, but unfortunately for ‘Finchy’ it’s at least probably a week or so out, from my own personal experience a number of times. It’s very unfortunate for him because he batted beautifully again tonight.”

One thing more certain is that Finch’s injury places enormous pressure on the selectors to call up Usman Khawaja following his dominant BBL displays for Sydney Thunder. Finch’s hamstring may open up a further opportunity in the New Zealand ODIs that precede the Tests.

“Usman is very well placed to be able to play anywhere at the moment, wherever the opportunity arises, Watson said, “because he’s batting incredibly well, as well as I’ve ever seen anyone bat. He’s ready to go, and whatever [format] the opportunity arises he’s in incredible control of his game at the moment. Whatever opportunities come his way he incredibly deserves.”

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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