Australia v Sri Lanka T20Is - Men
Finch nursing side injury ahead of T20 opener
Australia skipper confident he'll be fit for first Gillette T20 INTL against Sri Lanka in Adelaide
20 October 2019, 01:43 PM AEST
Captain Aaron Finch is battling a side injury but is confident he'll be fit for the start of Australia's Gillette T20 International series against Sri Lanka next week.
Finch is in Perth with Victoria this week but was ruled out of their current Marsh Sheffield Shield game at the WACA Ground due to a side strain, a week after he missed part of their match against South Australia due to back spasms.
The 32-year-old said he may have to miss Victoria's Marsh One-Day Cup game against WA on Wednesday in order to ensure he's fit for the first T20 against Sri Lanka in Adelaide next Sunday.
"If it progresses well this week, I'll play (on Wednesday)," he told 6PR.
"If I can still feel it and it's a little niggle there, I think the medical staff will probably take the conservative route.
"It could the morning of the game that that is decided, or it could be the night before.
"It started out as a little back niggle and it's just a little tear in my side. So hopefully not too long. It's been a week since I did it."
Finch clubbed 57 from just 44 balls in Victoria's Shield game at Junction Oval last week but didn't take the field in South Australia's innings after experiencing a back problem.
Having watched on for the first two days of the game as Victoria's top three all posted centuries, Finch said the long wait on the sidelines may have contributed to his injury.
"It could a combination of a lot of things," he said.
"Recently having flown a bit (and) playing quite a bit. With the Shield game in Melbourne, sitting down for a day and then coming out and trying to slog a few over the rope doesn't help either. Trying to tee off early in your innings after warming up and sitting down for a while."
Finch will form a quarter of a star-studded Australian top four for the Sri Lanka series – alongside David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell – as his side builds towards next year's T20 World Cup on home soil.
The skipper said the depth of top-order talent around the country meant the likes of Marcus Stoinis and D'Arcy Short were surplus to requirements for this series as the Aussies turn to middle-order specialists like Ashton Turner and Ashton Agar.
And he said the development of Agar as a genuine allrounder in T20 cricket has also led to a shift in thinking when it comes to selection.
"Marcus has been a player who's played really well at the top of the order for the Melbourne Stars for the last couple of years," Finch said of Stoinis.
"The reality is that there's just not that spot available in the top order at the moment.
"Ashton Agar has improved a hell of a lot over the last few years as well. So he's going to be that guy, (he) almost changed our mindset around that fast-bowling allrounder.
"When we've got a really good strong squad of fast bowlers, we've sort of changed our mindset to that allrounder being a spinner. That's also just (about) the balance of the side."
Australia's series-opener against Sri Lanka on October 27 in Adelaide will be followed by games in Brisbane and Melbourne, before Pakistan arrive for T20s in Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
Gillette T20 INTLs v Sri Lanka
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Sri Lanka squad: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha
October 27: First T20I, Adelaide Oval, 2pm (Fox & Kayo)
October 30: Second T20I, Gabba, 6.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 1: Third T20I, MCG, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
Gillette T20 INTLs v Pakistan
November 3: First T20I, SCG, 2.30pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 5: Second T20I, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 8: Third T20I, Perth Stadium, 4.30pm (Fox & Kayo)