CricketNext GET APP

ICC World Cup 2019 | David Warner or Usman Khawaja Likely to Open With Aaron Finch

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 16, 2019, 10:14 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | David Warner or Usman Khawaja Likely to Open With Aaron Finch

(Image: Twitter/ICC)

Loading...
Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch has said that he would prefer to have a left-handed batsman at the top of the order with him at the World Cup, which means it will be a toss-up between the explosive David Warner and Usman Khawaja.

While Finch and Warner were the openers in 2015 when Australia were crowned World champions in their own backyard, the skipper has forged a solid understanding and partnership with Khawaja in the last year, and that came to the fore recently against India and Pakistan where both of them scored heavily.

“There’s going to be plenty to think about over the next 6-8 weeks … to try and find our best combination and the best way to structure up our side,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“Davey’s record at the top is unbelievable and Uzzie’s been in great nick recently. Whichever way we go, there’s scope to mix and match that as we go through the tournament. We’ll work that out, there’s nothing set in stone right now.

“I think all three of us could (bat at No.3). I’ve probably got the least experience out of all three of us in that position in limited-overs cricket. It’s something we’ll juggle and tinker with. I think a left-right combination is probably the way we’ll go, it just depends on which left-hander (opens).”

When asked, Finch said he does not see Khawaja having a problem with moving down the order to number 3 and letting Warner open with him.

“I’d say yes, I’d imagine yes, but that’s still a long way out. He’s a class player and the form that he’s been in over the last six months in one-day cricket has been unbelievable,” he said about Khawaja.

“He’s done everything he can, he’s got big runs and big hundreds in important games and when a series has been on the line, so that’s a huge thing. And when he gets in, he’s so hard to stop as well.”

When asked if Smith will be part of Australia’s best XI given he’s been slow to return to his absolute best form since recent elbow surgery, Finch replied, “I’ll say yes; the short answer is yes.

“All of that stuff is up for debate. Now that the squad’s been picked and we’ve got 15 to pick from, it makes things a lot clearer and we can start mapping that stuff out. When you’re still looking at 18 or 19 players to find the 11, I think it’s a lot tougher.

“He’s done everything he can, he’s got big runs and big hundreds in important games and when a series has been on the line, so that’s a huge thing. And when he gets in, he’s so hard to stop as well.”

The captain’s confidence in Khawaja and the returning Smith is likely to translate in bad news for the experienced Shaun Marsh, who has performed with great amount of success in the last year.

While Finch was not part of the panel that picked the final squad, his decision with regards to the team composition will be final and it is rare that captain and management do not agree on selection matters.

“If you push something hard enough, you can convince them,” he said. “Nine times out of 10, maybe 49 out of 50, everyone’s on a same page or a very similar page. And you’re generally tossing up whether to play an extra bowler or an extra all-rounder, something like that.

“We’re generally all on the same page anyway, but at times it’s important to have good healthy debate. I think that keeps everyone accountable and it keeps everyone on their toes.”
Australia will open their World Cup title defense against minnows Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol.

First Published: April 16, 2019, 9:51 AM IST
Loading...

Live TV

Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
FULL Ranking
Loading...