Finch turns his thoughts to 2023 World Cup planning
Australia's limited-overs captain reveals the planning he and Justin Langer have put in to identify a 25-player group they think can win the next ODI World Cup
29 June 2020, 02:27 PM AEST
Australia's limited overs captain Aaron Finch has not been sitting idle during the game's COVID-19 enforced shutdown, brainstorming the nation's plans for the three limited-overs World Cups due to be played in the next three years.
Finch said a broad group of about 25 players had been drawn up with an eye towards the two tournaments in India, plus the home T20 World Cup.
"I'm a cricket nuffie so you never stop thinking about it. Especially being captain and with what's coming up with the T20 World Cup – whenever that might be – and looking forward to the 2023 50-over World Cup in India," Finch told RSN radio's The Breakfast Club.
"We're just in the process of trying to nut out how we're going to go about winning that, what we think we're going to do down the track to be successful in those three tournaments.
"So trying to piece that together and come up with the right game plan has been occupying my mind."
The fate of the T20 World Cup scheduled to be hosted in Australia in October and November of this year should become clear in July following the International Cricket Council's next board meeting.
With expectations high that tournament will be postponed due to the logistical and biosecurity concerns of getting 15 international teams into the country, a range of scenarios are on the table including moving it to the back end of the Australian summer or pushing it back 12, or 24 months.
Currently, India is scheduled to host the 2021 T20 World Cup in October and November of that year, and a one-day World Cup in February and March of 2023.
"It's about working back from that 2023 World Cup and really getting a detailed plan of how we think we'll have to win it, what's the structure of the side we feel we'll need in India," Finch said.
"Is it going to be two spinners? Is it going to be an extra allrounder?
"And work back from there and nut out what resources are we going to need in terms of players."
Australia have won 53 of the 89 completed ODIs they've played in India since their first match in 1984, but they have won four and lost four from their past eight games in the country in the past 15 months.
Of the 21 players Australia used in those past eight games, several names are expected to form the spine of the Australian side, providing form and fitness remains with them. Besides captain Finch, that would include the likes of batters Steve Smith and David Warner, wicketkeeper Alex Carey, fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc and spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar.
The likes of Marnus Labuschagne, who has one century and an average of 50 from just six ODI innings, is also likely to be a large part of future plans, and his leg-spin will also likely be invaluable in the subcontinent.
Glenn Maxwell, who hasn't been selected in an ODI side since Australia was bundled out of the 2019 World Cup at the semi-final stage by England, adds and off-spin option to the arsenal.
Others used by Australia in India in the past 15 months that have since fallen out of favour with selectors in their current limited-overs planning include the likes of Usman Khawaja, Ashton Turner, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shaun Marsh and Nathan Lyon.
But selectors have been at pains to stress the door is not closed to anyone.
Other options likely to be on the radar include highly-rated Western Australia allrounder Cameron Green and batting talent Josh Philippe, as well as T20 firecracker D'Arcy Short, who also bowls handy leg-spin.
Tasmanian fast bowlers Nathan Ellis and Riley Meredith also have plenty of incentive to continue to press their case, with the likes of the Richardsons – Jhye and Kane – and Josh Hazlewood also in the mix.
"If there's someone new that we identify that we feel could have a really big impact in that tournament, how many games can we get into them over the next two-and-a-half years to make sure they are right up to speed with international cricket and have enough experience," Finch said.
"So in a high-pressure semi-final you aren't going in hoping they'll do well, you know they have got the form and enough experience behind them to make sure they are comfortable at the international level.
"It's either working out what the 15, or say 25 players looking at it now, what that looks like, does that match what our game plan is going to be, or do we pick the side the other way round with a game plan in mind and then adapt it that way.
"It's not rocket science, it's going through data, a bit of gut instinct of what you feel is going to be the trends of one-day cricket.
"Will it be 400, is that what you'll need to win a one-day game, or will it be that 320-mark on some wearing pitches in India and a couple of spinners in your side?"