West Indies v Australia T20Is - Men's
Twenty20 vision: Finch clear on goals after eye surgery
Australia captain Aaron Finch details his struggles with an eye problem last summer as he embarks on Australia's last international tour before October's T20 World Cup
25 June 2021, 02:07 PM AEST
Australia captain Aaron Finch says he is still waiting to determine the full extent of his recovery from surgery to his left eye as he prepares to lead the ODI and T20 squads to the Caribbean and Bangladesh across the next two months.
After experiencing blurry vision during last year's Indian Premier League right through the Australian summer and onto the T20I tour of New Zealand in February-March, Finch undertook the delicate procedure upon returning home from across the Tasman.
So far, the surgery has been a success, yet the 34-year-old believes the true indication will come when playing under lights, which Australia are set to do in all eight of their fixtures in St Lucia (five T20Is) and Barbados (three ODIs) from July 9-24.
⏪ 25th June 2019@aaronfinch5 put on a masterclass against England, hitting a century and securing a place in the @cricketworldcup semi-finals 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/HFpKuqYwi0— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 24, 2021
"I noticed it during the IPL," Finch said. "One day it just sort of changed, and it turned out to get a little bit worse.
"It was just bloody blurry, which isn't ideal as a batsman in international cricket.
"I tried contact (lenses), and couldn't get them right … they just wouldn't sit right in my eye.
"After New Zealand we thought that was the best time to be able to get it done. It was about a three-week process and it was really smooth.
"In the daytime it wasn't as noticeable, at night it was more noticeable, especially playing in Dubai where the lighting isn't as good as what we've got in Australia.
"I just noticed it more then, (my eyesight) wasn't very sharp, and there were little halos around lights and a bit of a trail on the ball."
Finch returned home from the IPL and was outstanding for Australia in last November's three-match ODI series against India, scoring, 114, 60 and 75. His form tailed away across the summer however, to the point that he endured his worst-ever KFC BBL campaign, averaging 13.76 from 13 innings with a highest score of 39.
That run of outs continued in the first two outings of the five-match T20I series in New Zealand, but the right-hander finished strongly with scores of 69, 79no and 36.
With much of Australia's upcoming cricket set to be played at night, Finch says the true results of his surgery will be borne out.
"I'll tell you after I try and get some runs with a bit clearer sight in my left eye," he joked after being asked about just how significantly his sight had been impacted.
"I'm seeing them pretty good (now). I've only being hitting them indoors on hard wickets.
"I think the biggest test will come in night matches, that's when I noticed the biggest difference in my eyesight.
"It's all clear now, it seems really good."
Australia's 18-man squad will convene on the Gold Coast this weekend, minus the Sydney-based players who will remain under CA's pre-departure restrictions with a COVID-19 cluster in the city. That group, including fast bowlers Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood, will join the squad at Brisbane Airport on Monday for a chartered flight on a Qantas aircraft next Monday.
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies T20 squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (vc), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr
First T20: July 9, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm (July 10, 9.30am AEST)
Second T20: July 10, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm (July 11 9.30am AEST)
Third T20: July 12, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm (July 13, 9.30am AEST)
Fourth T20: July 14, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm (July 15, 9.30am AEST)
Fifth T20: July 16, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm (July 17, 9.30am AEST)
First ODI: July 20, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm D/N (July 21, 4.30am AEST)
Second ODI: July 22, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm D/N (July 23, 4.30am AEST)
Third ODI: July 24, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm D/N (July 25, 4.30am AEST)
* Details of five-match T20 tour of Bangladesh are yet to be announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board. Tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arrangements and relevant government approvals.