Qantas T20 Tour of NZ 2021
IPL snub 'wasn't unexpected': Finch
Australia's white-ball skipper has put the disappointment of missing out on an IPL deal behind him as he prepares for national duties
21 February 2021, 12:19 PM AEST
While some were surprised Aaron Finch, the No.3 T20 batsman in the world, went unsold at this year's IPL auction, he wasn't.
Finch was overlooked on Thursday as teammates Glenn Maxwell ($A2.52m), Jhye Richardson (A$2.48) and Riley Meredith (A$1.42m) secured huge contracts.
"It would have been nice to be playing again," Finch said.
"It's a wonderful competition to be a part of but it wasn't unexpected that I wasn't picked up, to be honest.
"I'd prefer to be playing cricket, but a little bit of time at home won't be the worst thing."
Finch's exclusion perhaps comes down to a variety of reasons.
The 2021 IPL auction was very much a 'top-up' auction, with the eight franchises having already established their rosters from the previous season, which concluded less than six months ago in the UAE.
This year's auction also favoured fast bowlers, with Richardson, Meredith, South Africa pace-bowling allrounder Chris Morris ($A2.88m) and Kiwi giant Kyle Jamieson (A$2.66m) the big winners.
But counting against Finch perhaps the most is his recent T20 form. In 12 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, Finch averaged 22.33 at a strike rate of 111 with just one score above 50.
He followed that up with a lean season for the Melbourne Renegades, averaging 13.76 in 13 innings as his side finished bottom of the ladder for a second straight year.
Following the KFC BBL, Finch did not pick up a bat until be packed his bags for Australia's T20 tour of New Zealand and said he felt good about his game upon arriving in Christchurch.
When permitted to train during Australia's mandatory 14-day quarantine, which ends tonight at 10pm AEDT, Finch has tinkered with his batting with head coach Andrew McDonald.
"I've been working a few technical things; trying to get a little bit less weight on my front foot," he said.
"At times I can get a little bit flat footed and my feet get planted then I struggle to move again – I have my initial movement then I get a little bit stuck.
"I've talked a lot and worked a fair bit with Andrew McDonald, who I go back to every time things don't seem quite right and he seems to sort it out pretty quick.
"It's been nice to have a good chunk of training and focusing on a few little technical changes."
While Finch missed out on an IPL contract, he was delighted to see Richardson and Meredith be rewarded.
The pair were standouts in BBL|10 and their performances warranted selection in Australia's T20 squad for New Zealand and a big IPL payday.
The youngsters were unsurprisingly shocked when the enormous bids were televised on Thursday night but Finch says they haven't changed since becoming overnight millionaires, for the most part.
"Maybe Riley went a little bit softer in soccer yesterday than what he has been in the past," Finch said. "A few of the boys were into him.
"Everyone was super excited for them. We had a day off after the auction which was planned from the start and a full training session yesterday that was high intensity and they were brilliant.
"Very happy for them. They are guys who are starting a long journey in their career and I'm super excited for them to get an opportunity over there."
Qantas T20I tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, *Martin Guptill (pending fitness test), Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee. *Finn Allen (on stand-by for Guptill)
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo