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India vs Australia: Embattled Finch Gets Lyon Backing After Another Failure

Cricketnext Staff | December 29, 2018, 3:54 PM IST

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has thrown his weight behind under-fire Aaron Finch after the opener suffered yet another failure in the third Test between Australia and India.

Finch has managed just 97 runs in six innings so far in the series at an average of 16.16 and has looked massively out of sorts. His scores of 3 & 8 at the top of the order this Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground have prompted plenty of former cricketers to question the opener's place in the side.

Lyon, however, was effusive in praise of Finch and was confident that a big score was just around the corner for the embattled Victorian.

"I'm a massive fan of Finchy," Lyon said after the fourth day's play.

"He's a great guy and he's been working his backside off. He's been hitting a lot of balls in the nets. I think he's a world-class player and we've seen him perform at international level for many years now in all three formats."

More than the low scores, it has been the manner of Finch's dismissals that have most former Australian cricketers worried. He has been troubled with swinging deliveries on multiple occasions this series and many including Michael Hussey and Mark Waugh have advocated for Finch to move down in the middle-order, a position he bats for Victoria and Surrey.

"I think he's more suited to the middle order than the top of the order," Hussey, who called for Renshaw to open at the SCG, told Macquarie Radio.

"I still think they will want him around. He's a good team man, he's got experience in one-day cricket and I think he can be dangerous with the bat against a tiring attack and he can play spin well."

Former Test batsman Mark Waugh agreed, telling Fox Sports: "I think if (Finch) is to play more Test match cricket, I think it's to be in the middle order. I don't think his technique is suited to opening on the fast, bouncy pitches. I'm not ruling a line through him, though."

Lyon though said Finch had the backing of the whole team. "He's disappointed, as everyone is, but … he's got my full support. I'm confident that a big score is just around the corner for him."

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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