Babar Azam’s Pakistan will take on Aaron Finch-led Australia side in the one-off T20 international at the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday (April 5). Australia’s interim men’s coach Andrew McDonald reaffirmed his faith in the leadership qualities of limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch despite his poor form, saying that there was no conversation among the administrators to replace him ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at home later this year.
Australia recently lost the ODI series to Pakistan 1-2 with the hosts winning the last of the three matches by nine wickets after Babar Azam blasted an unbeaten 105 to chase down the tourists’ below-par score of 210 with more than 12 overs to spare at the Gaddafi Stadium. Finch and Travis Head were out for duck in the series decider.
It was also Australian limited-overs skipper’s second successive duck – a first in his international career. Finch has scored just 101 runs in his last eight international knocks this year, including a tough T20I series against Sri Lanka in February.
“From my end, there’s no conversation around the (possibility) that he won’t be there,” McDonald, who is the front-runner to succeed Langer as full-time coach, told cricket.com.au on Monday.
“His (Finch) form can ebb and flow – like most players’ can – and his ability to work through these patches has been significant in his career. We had the same conversation about (opener) David Warner leading into the T20 World Cup last (year), so all these conversations are going to happen. Do we think he’s still good enough to play this level? One hundred per cent yes. That’s as simple as it gets for us and we’re building a team around him as captain. It’s a pretty significant pillar to be discussing about not being at the T20 World Cup. From our end, we think he can still play at this level, 100 per cent,” added McDonald.
Finch, 35, will get another opportunity to strike form when Australia take on Pakistan in the one-off T20 International at the Gaddafi Stadium here on April 5. McDonald said Finch had been working on his footwork to get back among the runs.
Here are the Match Details
Pakistan vs Australia, One-off T20
Venue: Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore
Date & Time: April 5th, 8:30 PM IST
Livestream and TV details: Sony Six and Sonyliv website and app
Pakistan vs Australia one-off T20 Dream 11
Wicketkeeper: Mohammad Rizwan, Josh Inglis
Batters: Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman
All-rounders: Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis
Bowlers: Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Captain: Mohammad Rizwan
Vice-Captain: Travis Head
Pakistan vs Australia Probable Playing XIs
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Josh Inglis(wk), Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff