West Indies v Australia ODIs - Men's
Finch heads home, surgery looms ahead of World Cup
Australia's skipper to miss the tour of Bangladesh as he looks to overcome a knee problem ahead of the T20 World Cup
Louis Cameron in Barbados
25 July 2021, 02:36 PM AEST
Australia are flying Aaron Finch home early from their tour of the Caribbean in a bid to have their injured captain fit for this year's T20 World Cup.
Finch is likely to undergo surgery on his right knee after he gets out of his mandatory two-week quarantine, which he will begin following a marathon journey home from Barbados.
Having missed Australia's one-dayers at Kensington Oval against the West Indies, the 34-year-old will fly out on Sunday (Barbados time) and return home to Melbourne via London and Doha.
Finch suffered a cartilage injury in St Lucia earlier this month but was able to lead Australia in five T20s against the Windies, before reaggravating the injury last week in the final game of the series.
Even if he goes under the knife, medical staff are optimistic he will recover in time to lead Australia at the T20 World Cup in the Middle East, which gets underway in October.
But Finch will now miss what could be Australia's final T20 games before that tournament, a five-game T20 series against Bangladesh that begins next month.
Alex Carey has led Australia in the one-day series against the Windies but Matthew Wade, who was vice-captain for the recent T20s and captained Australia against India last summer, now shapes as the likely skipper for the matches against Bangladesh.
Australia will not send a replacement player for Finch given the difficulties associated with travel and joining the team's bio-secure bubble.
"I'm extremely disappointed to be heading home," Finch said in a statement.
"This was considered the best course of action rather than heading to Bangladesh, not being able to play and losing that recovery time.
"I will have the surgery if required and start the recovery process ahead of the World Cup."
Finch's early return should also see him home in time for the birth of his and wife Amy's first child, which is due in September.
From a cricket perspective, it will further deplete Australia's batting stocks, with Steve Smith, David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell all missing the Caribbean and Bangladesh tours.
Australia slumped to 6-45 in Saturday's second ODI defeat to the Windies but have no reserve top-order players to call on outside of allrounder Dan Christian, who has not played a List A game in more than four years.
They have brought two travelling reserves on tour but both – Nathan Ellis and Tanveer Sangha – are bowlers.
Finch's absence could see Wade return to the top of the order for the Bangladesh T20s after he finished the Windies series batting at No.6, while Josh Philippe could get an extended run in the opening spot that he has thrived in during the KFC BBL.
Ashton Agar, who watched fellow left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein destroy Australia's middle order on Saturday, remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (vc for ODIs), Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc for T20Is), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope (vc), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd
T20 series: West Indies won 4-1 (all matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia)
First T20: West Indies won by 18 runs
Second T20: West Indies won by 56 runs
Third T20: West Indies won by six wickets
Fourth T20: Australia won by four runs
Fifth T20: West Indies won by 16 runs
ODI series (all matches at Kensington Oval, Barbados)
First ODI: Australia won by 133 runs
Second ODI (D/N): West Indies won by four wickets
Third ODI (D/N): July 27, 4.30am AEST (July 26, 2.30pm local)
Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2021
(all matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka)
First T20: August 3, start time TBC
Second T20: August 4, start time TBC
Third T20: August 6, start time TBC
Fourth T20: August 7, start time TBC
Fifth T20: August 9, start time TBC