India vs Australia: Australia is all set to make just one change to their playing XI for the first ODI match clash against India as captain Aaron Finch praised the bowling allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
Coach Justin Langer said on Wednesday that Australian selectors were leaning towards the sole change, with Steve Smith coming in for the injured Mitch Marsh, but were weighing up playing an extra allrounder.
Finch, on the other hand, says that an extra bowler who can bat at No.7 will come in handy.
The good news is the two allrounders bowled regularly throughout the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).
“What Maxi’s shown in T20 cricket in particular is his bowling keeps improving all the time,” Finch said today.
“I think Marcus Stoinis has proved that as well with the amount of exposure he’s had over the past couple of years bowling at the death, it’s really important for us and it gives us a lot of flexibility in there.
“In England we had the three allrounders with Mitch (Marsh) so you can dissect the 10 overs a little bit easier, I guess.
“You’re still expecting when that fifth bowler is, or the combination of allrounders are, bowling that minimum 10 overs that they’re still having an impact on the game.
“It’s not about picking allrounders just for the sake of it, it’s also a key bowling spot as well.”
Moises Henriques, Cameron Green and Ashton Agar will battle for the spot given their all-round prowess.
The hosts will need all their bowlers to be at the top of their game to take on a formidable Indian team led by captain Virat Kohli.
Considered one of the best one-day players ever, Kohli averages close to 60 in all ODIs and 50 in 50-over matches in Australia.
Having spent the IPL playing alongside Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore, Finch has been better placed than most to look for a chink in his counterpart’s armour.
Sadly for Finch he couldn’t find too many, but that doesn’t mean his charges don’t have a plan for Kohli.
“If you look at his record it’s second to none,” said Finch. “It really is remarkable.
“I think what we have to keep in mind is that we have to keep looking to get him out.
“When you go away from that and you look to contain players you can miss a trick there.
“There’s not too many chinks in his armour.
“He’s probably the best one-day player of all time so it’s about sticking to our plans and being really committed in that regard.”
Finch had a lean IPL season, scoring one half-century in 11 innings with a strike rate of 111, 31 short of his career T20 strike rate.
The right-hander has been working with Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald during their 14-day quarantine in Sydney’s west ahead of the three-match ODI series which is followed by three T20s starting in Canberra on December 2.
While the changes haven’t been drastic, Finch says it’s hard to get out of a rut when playing lots of T20s in quick sucession.
“T20 can be really difficult when you’re not quite at your very best,” he explained.
“When you’re trying to be really aggressive at the start of an innings (and) take risks early in the game at a time when it’s not going 100 per cent, you can get in a pretty bad run quite quickly.
“It’s just a few balance things, head position in my stance and small things like that I can sometimes forget about when you’re just focusing on T20.
“You tend to get a little bit one-paced with your training, almost focused on power hitting rather than a few minor technical things that can help you out.
“It hasn’t been anything huge, it’s a just a few steps I generally go to when things haven’t been as smooth as I would have liked.”
Predicted XI: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carry, Mitchel Starc, Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa