Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

To hit or not to hit? Australia's Aaron Finch faces dilemma for Test debut in UAE

Explosive batsman one of five new faces in the squad to take on Pakistan in two-Test series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in October

Aaron Finch is in line to make his Test debut for Australia in the two-match series against Pakistan in the UAE in October. AP Photo
Aaron Finch is in line to make his Test debut for Australia in the two-match series against Pakistan in the UAE in October. AP Photo

Hard-hitting Australian Aaron Finch has been a dominant opener in shorter forms of the game but admits he may have to curb his natural aggression if he makes his Test debut against Pakistan in the UAE next month.

Finch's explosiveness with the bat has earned the 31 year old a reputation as one of the world's fastest-scoring batsmen in the one-day and Twenty20 formats, but the burly right-hander has never played a Test.

This is likely to change next month after he was a surprise call-up for Australia's two-Test series against Pakistan in Dubai from October 7 and Abu Dhabi from October 16, raising the dilemma of whether to stay true to his natural style or tone it down.

He said on Monday it will depend where the selectors want him to play.

"Being aggressive has made me reasonably successful in international cricket in the two shorter formats so I suppose it depends where in the order they see me fitting in if there is a spot for me in the XI," he said.

"If it's at the top, I think it's about playing your natural game, if it's in the middle there'll obviously be times you come in against a lot of spin and the ball's reversing.

"So I'll sit down with the coach and captain over the next week or so and start nutting out some plans."


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But after plying his trade successfully for more than a decade, Australia's T20 captain and one-day international deputy is inclined to simply do what he does best - score runs however he can.

"After 10 or 12 years you build up a game plan that works well for you and it's not about going right away from that because it's Test cricket or playing in the subcontinent," he said.

"I think it's about just changing your mindset slightly."

Although a novice in the five-day game, Finch has represented his country 135 times in shorter formats and is one of five debutants named in new Australia coach Justin Langer's touring party. He brings considerable international experience to a squad devoid of the services of Steve Smith and David Warner due to suspension over the South Africa ball-tampering scandal. Also missing are injured fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, leaving Australia with one of its least experienced Test squads in years.

Finch says he is keen to help in that department wherever required.

"I've been around for quite a while and I can probably be a sounding board for some of the younger guys if they need a chat," he said. "Where Tim [Paine] and Justin think I can help out, I will."

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Updated: September 17, 2018 11:29 AM



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