Australia skipper Aaron Finch said that the upcoming series versus India will give a perfect platform for youngsters to grab the two World Cup spots with Steve Smith and David Warner struggling to gain complete fitness after sustaining elbow injuries.
The duo, who were suspended for their involvement in the ball-tampering controversy, sustained elbow injuries during the Bangladesh Premier League last month. Both the cricketers underwent surgeries and it is still unclear whether the duo would regain complete fitness before the upcoming World Cup.
“Definitely it’s a great opportunity for the guys to come in and really challenge for that spot. David (Warner) obviously had some elbow surgery recently so that’ll be in the back of the mind as well,” Finch said while addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam.
“But if things don’t go 100 per cent right with their rehab or some complications with it and they’re not back in time, it’s a huge, huge opportunity for guys to step up and almost cement their place going forward,” he added.
Returning to the international arena after playing yet another long-drawn Big Bash season, Finch wants his boys to continue with their BBL form. Nine players out of the 15-man Australian squad for the two-match T20 series featured in at least eleven matches in the recently-concluded BBL. Six among the nine cricketers also played the summit clash between Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars, which Renegades won by 13 runs.
“With the two T20 matches (against India), it’s a chance for the guys to continue on their Big Bash form and test themselves against the best in the world in their own conditions,” said Finch.
Speaking on the preparation for the upcoming World Cup, the 32-year-old-cricketer said, “We still got 10 Internationals plus five other practice warm-up games before that first World Cup game so there’s still a fair bit of cricket to go and as long as we keep tracking in the right direction and give India a really good fight and win the series that will be what is all about.”
Speaking on the opening combination, he said, “Again in the ODI side Short is there. He’s been exceptional and he’s open the batting. He’s obviously prolific in the middle order. Usman, myself, Alex. So there’s still a few options.”
The skipper also praised all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who had an amazing outing with Melbourne Stars in the recently-concluded BBL. The all-rounder amassed 533 runs at an average of 53.30 and also scalped 14 wickets.
“Yeah absolutely he’s someone who can bowl 10 overs, bowl four overs in T20 cricket. He can be at the top of the order he can be really successful in the middle order as well. To have someone who’s as flexible as that is a great asset in your team because then you can build a team around them and that can fill any hole that you need. If there’s a weakness somewhere he’s generally the best person to fix it and you can shuffle it around them,” Finch said.