England v Australia T20Is - Men's
Marnus made to wait for Aussie T20 cap
Aaron Finch says a century in his last start isn't enough for Marnus Labuschagne to upset a settled Aussie T20 outfit
3 September 2020, 06:33 PM AEST
There might not be an Australian batter in better form than Marnus Labuschagne but the right-hander will have to wait to make his T20 international debut, according to captain Aaron Finch.
Speaking on the eve of the first T20I against England in the Southampton bio-secure bubble, Finch said Australia's XI will be revealed at the toss but it's unlikely to feature Labuschagne, despite the Queenslander scoring 100 from 51 balls opening the batting in a T20 trial game on Tuesday.
"We're pretty settled with how we structure our T20 side at the moment," Finch said.
"He played nicely the other day, but I think he might have to wait a little bit longer in T20 cricket.
"He's had an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and he hits the ball in the middle of the bat more often than most other players and hits the ball in the gaps so that's a pretty good recipe for T20 cricket and all cricket.
"He played beautifully the other day for a hundred, it was a great knock."
With Finch and David Warner serving as Australia's established white-ball openers, Steve Smith at No.3 and players like Marcus Stoinis waiting in the wings, it might be a while yet before Labuschagne gets his chance.
But he is not the only batter in form for the visitors, as two other players recorded triple-figure scores in Australia's intra-squad warm-up games. Alex Carey posted 107 from 60 balls in the same innings as Labuschagne, while Glenn Maxwell – who is expected to return to the T20 XI – scored 108 in the 50-over match.
Finch said the quality of the three practice matches had been "fantastic" and was impressed by what he saw from his charges.
"It's been a really good hit out the last few days," he said. "Obviously with Maxwell getting a hundred, Marnus, Alex Carey all getting hundreds in two different formats is really pleasing.
"Marcus Stoinis (who scored 87, 17 and 68 in three matches) has played really well at the top of the order. That’s been really pleasing with the bat.
"Josh Hazlewood (three wickets) has been outstanding with the ball across a few games.
"I think overall the quality of games has been fantastic so to have that really competitive hit out leading into the first T20 is really important."
Finch knows the Southampton conditions well after smashing a then-world record 156 against England at the venue in 2013.
While Finch says the faster Southampton surface allows batters to go harder earlier than on slower pitches, the two teams could be playing on the same pitch for the entire T20 series.
"I think history suggests the scores are generally on the higher side but I think we might be using the same wicket for all three games, so whether that means they (scores) come down or the wicket stays really good we'll wait and see," Finch said.
"Your defensive bowling becomes really important because it's a wicket that has a touch more pace than some other wickets around the country, so it gives you the opportunity to hit through the line and take the game on a little bit earlier on in your innings than what you'd generally would."
Finch said neither team would make a gesture before play as seen during England's Test summer, adding he felt continued education was more important than protesting.
Both the England and West Indies players took a knee before each Test match, with the Windies players raising one fist wearing a black glove.
The Australia skipper says he is proud to play a "game for everyone".
"I've spoke to Eoin (Morgan, England captain) and we're not going to do a specific gesture like has happened in the past," he said.
"We were really proud to play a game where it's celebrated all over the world and anyone can play it – it doesn't matter what race, what religion, what nationality – cricket is the game for everyone and I'm really proud about that.
"The education around this is more important than a protest."
2020 Tour of England
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood
September 4: 1st T20, Southampton, 3am AEST Sept 5
September 6: 2nd T20, Southampton, 11.15pm AEST
September 8: 3rd T20, Southampton, 3am AEST Sept 9
September 11: 1st ODI, Old Trafford, 10pm AEST
September 13: 2nd ODI, Old Trafford, 10pm AEST
September 16: 3rd ODI, Old Trafford, 10pm AEST