Former Test opener Chris Rogers says the hot form of Usman Khawaja means Aaron Finch "has to be" under pressure to hold his spot in Australia's one-day international side.
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While David Warner dominated the three-match series against New Zealand with an Australian record tally of 299 runs, his opening partner Finch could only manage scores of 0, 19 and 3 against the Black Caps.
It continues a lean patch of form for Finch this year; since he scored 107 against India in January, the right-hander has managed just four half-centuries in 19 innings, scoring 448 runs at 23.58.
Rogers says his former Victorian teammate has "a little bit of credit in the bank" having been a consistent performer for Australia in recent years, including seven ODI centuries in just 77 matches and a World Cup triumph last year.
But with the likes of Khawaja and Shaun Marsh currently out of the side, Rogers says Australia's selectors have options should Finch's run of low scores continues.
"He has to be (under pressure)," Rogers told Optus Sport.
"There was probably a little bit of credit in the bank from what he’s done before but when you’ve got a player as good as Usman Khawaja on the sidelines you have to make every post a winner.
"And to miss out three times, that’s just leaving the way open for Uzzie to force his way back into the side."
Despite being one of Australia's form batsmen over the past year, Khawaja has played just 12 of 29 ODIs in 2016, averaging a touch under 40 as either an opener or first drop.
Marsh, currently out of action due to a finger injury, has played just five ODIs this year; he scored back-to-back half-centuries against India in January but only managed scores of 7, 5 and 1 in his other three matches. And despite a solid career ODI average of 38.70, the left-hander has played just 10 matches in the past three years.
The Chappell-Hadlee series also continued a quirk in Finch's career record against the major cricketing nations. The right-hander averages more than 40 against India, England and South Africa and 27 against Sri Lanka, but averages less than 20 against the West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand. His career record against NZ now stands at 36 runs from five matches at an average of just 7.20.
Finch, whose powerful game has often failed to translate into runs at first-class level, had come into the ODI series in good form having scored 102 for Victoria in their Sheffield Shield win over South Australia two weeks ago.
Having posted just his sixth first-class century and his first in Shield cricket in more than six years, Finch said he was pleased to spend some time in the middle after a lean year in ODI cricket.
"Any time you get runs in any format, it's nice," he said.
"I probably haven't scored as many as I would have liked over the last two tours for Australia.
"There have been some cameos there, some 50s off a few, but nothing really significant to win a game.
"It was nice to get runs in a tough situation when the team needed it."
The 30-year-old will now look to regain his touch in the KFC Big Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades ahead of Australia's ODI series against Pakistan next month.
Aaron Finch team-by-team ODI record (against Top 9 nations)
- v England: 649 runs at 46.35
- v South Africa: 615 runs at 41.00
- v India: 580 runs at 44.61
- v Sri Lanka: 189 runs at 27.00
- v West Indies: 167 runs at 18.55
- v New Zealand: 36 runs at 7.20
- v Pakistan: 34 runs at 8.50
- v Bangladesh: N/A
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