Qantas Tour of NZ 2018
Short keen to hold on to top spot
Left-hander says he's suited to opening, admits surprise at Aaron Finch's move down the order
AAP & Cricket Network
11 February 2018, 05:41 PM AEST
D'Arcy Short has no plans to relinquish his spot at the top of Australia's T20 batting order despite the return of incumbent opener Aaron Finch.
Short made an inauspicious start deputising for an injured Finch, making four runs on debut against New Zealand, but has followed it up with 30 from 40 balls and an unbeaten 36 from 33 balls, both against England.
Finch, who was in brilliant form at the top of Australia's ODI batting order before suffering a hamstring injury last month, was relegated to No.5 in his T20 return at the MCG on Saturday night when the home side booked a tri-series final berth with a seven-wicket win.
It was just the third time in 122 matches for Australia that Finch has not opened the batting and given his strong partnership with skipper David Warner over the years, it would have come as no surprise if the right-hander had slotted straight back into the side at the top of the order.
But the move to bat him lower down paid off on Saturday night in Australia's big win as the Victorian scored 20no from just five balls and finished the match with consecutive sixes.
"I didn't know what to expect, but I think they wanted to keep me opening because I'd done so well in the Big Bash and throwing me down the order might have changed that," Short said.
"I was definitely a little surprised given how well they (Finch and Warner) have done at the top.
"(But) I think I'm suited there. That's where I like to bat and hopefully I can stay there."
Finch has had success batting down the order in the Indian Premier League, scoring 193 runs at 48.25 in the 2016 edition of the tournament for Gujarat Lions.
"He probably learnt a lot from playing a different role," then-Gujarat captain Brendon McCullum told cricket.com.au of Finch in 2016.
"I think there were some really good learnings for him, he performed brilliantly."
The 27-year-old Short scored 572 runs opening for Hobart Hurricanes in the KFC BBL, including the highest-ever BBL score of 122 not out, to be named player of the tournament.
Just three games into his international career, Short is intent on improving further and forcing his way into contention for international honours in longer forms of the game.
But he dismissed suggestions that playing spin is currently his Achilles heel.
"I go at a run-a-ball against spin - I don't see what the problem is there," he said.
"But I'll obviously keep trying to work at it ... to get my strike rate up against (spin) would be good.
"I'm happy with where it's at at the moment though."
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.
First T20I Australia won by seven wickets. Scorecard
Second T20I Australia won by five wickets. Scorecard
Third T20I Australia won by seven wickets. Scorecard
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21