Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series
Finch backs Warner over sledging
Batsman says opening partner’s preparedness to verbally take on opponents is a benefit to team
21 January 2015, 06:09 PM AEST
Aaron Finch has thrown his support behind his Australia ODI opening partner David Warner who continues to divide opinion over his verbal spat with India’s Rohit Sharma last Sunday.
Warner was fined half his match fee ($1470) by ICC match referee Andy Pycroft for his altercation with Sharma during Sunday’s Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series match at the MCG which was sparked when the Australian mistakenly believed Sharma had snuck a run after deflecting an overthrow.
Warner, who will sit out Australia’s next tri-series match against England in Hobart on Friday due to hamstring soreness, has since admitted he was at fault but claimed he won’t back down from his aggressive on-field demeanour.
That decision has been backed by Finch who, while claiming the practice of delivering ‘send-offs’ to batsmen when they are dismissed is unnecessary, added that Warner’s preparedness to verbally take on opponents was a benefit to his team.
“Having a guy like that (Warner) in your team is fantastic,” Finch told Adelaide radio station 5AA this afternoon.
“He sticks up for anyone and backs anyone up, but it’s unfortunate it came to that (a fine).
“Every now and then it just boils over, it’s not a nice thing to have happen and to go on Davey’s record so if he does something minor again he might miss a game.
“He knows he toes the line quite a bit and we love the way that he plays.”
Finch echoed Warner’s earlier observation that the practice of bowlers and fielders “getting in the face” of batsmen to send them on their way once their wicket has been claimed is one that should be eradicated from the game.
But he believes there remains a place for spirited verbal gamesmanship, provided it is not personal or offensive and does not become a spectacle outside of the game rather than a competitive element within it.
“Once you knock a guy over it’s really pointless carrying on like a pork chop,” Finch told Melbourne station SEN earlier today.
“I think that’s a part of the game that we don’t need.
“But when you’re out in the middle in the heat of battle, a bit of sledging is fine – it’s been happening forever.
“And I think if it’s done in the right way and the right spirit, nobody should really get offended by it.
“To be honest, I steer clear of all that kind stuff.
“I just drift along in the field most times and when I bat I tend to be pretty relaxed.”
With Warner absent from Friday’s game and Australia needing only a win from one of their two-remaining tri-series matches to book a berth in the Final in Perth at the end of this month, Finch claims he has no idea who his new opening partner will be at Blundstone Arena.
Due to Warner and stand-in skipper George Bailey’s absence from Friday’s game – Bailey because he has copped a one-match suspension for Australia’s slow over rate at the MCG – the national selectors added Shaun Marsh and Cameron White to the ODI squad.
Both players have established significant records as opening batsmen in the white-ball format of the game and Finch added he would be comfortable if asked to partner either of them at the top if the order in the day-night match in Hobart.
However, he was less sure that veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s offer – made at a media conference in Hobart today – to fill the role would be accepted by Bailey’s replacement as captain, Steve Smith and other members of the Australia brainstrust.
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“I think Hadds (Haddin) is just looking for an excuse to get to the top of the order and play with a little less responsibility,” Finch joked.
“He did it for a long time when he was playing for the Canberra Comets and for New South Wales (in domestic 50-over cricket) and he’s done it in the past for Australia so I’m sure if Brad got the nod he’d do a great job.
“But I think Brad’s pretty settled there at number seven and I think going into a (World Cup) tournament you like to be as settled as possible.
“So unfortunately I don’t think Hadds will be at the top.”