Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch will return to the top of the batting order for his team’s two final tune-up matches for the World Cup defence, ditching an experiment designed to get first-choice replacement Cameron Green batting time.
Green had opened with David Warner in two matches against the West Indies and again against England on Sunday night having burst into World Cup calculations batting with Finch as an opener in India.
The Aussies can’t inject Green into the already-set 15-man World Cup squad without an injury, but Finch made it clear the boom all-rounder would be first man in should they need a replacement.
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That’s why Green, who only made 16 runs in the past three innings opening, was given batting time ahead of the skipper.
But while that experiment is over following the loss to England in Perth, Finch said his team would not shy away from mixing things up to be fully ready for their World Cup defence.
“We’re going to keep trying things. I’m going to go back to the top for the next game, which was always the plan,” Finch told Fox Cricket after the match.
“We‘d get to the first two (T20s against West Indies) and then this game, then I’d go back to the top as preparation for the World Cup.
“It was just about giving ‘Greeny’ an opportunity at the top and to keep trying things. After this little burst, especially (with) guys coming off a lot of injuries as well … you have to be prepared.
“So just trying to get as many games into Greeny in case he has to be called into the squad.”
Finch’s move and the impending return of first-choice stars Glenn Maxwell and the main bowling attack for the final two games against England could mean Green misses out.
Fast bowler Nathan Ellis also made a strong case as a potential replacement having taken 2-1 in the 19th over to showcase his capacity to bowl at the end of an innings.
“Nathan Ellis was outstanding on a really good batting surface … he was unbelievable,” Finch said of Ellis, who was a travelling reserve during Australia‘s World Cup triumph in the UAE last year.
“He’s a fantastic bowler. He’s done it at domestic level, he’s done it every chance he’s had with Australia. He’s been so close a lot of times.
“The fact he keeps fronting up, he‘s been 12th man on a lot of tours, the fact that every time he gets an opportunity (he takes it).
“He trains the house down, he‘s just a brilliant person to have around the team.”
Australia will play England in Canberra on Wednesday.