With Cricket Australia (CA) on Sunday, 14th April, announced 15-man World Cup 2019 squad, which left people curious to know who will be the opening partner of Captain Aaron Finch between David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the upcoming prestigious ICC event in England.
However, Finch didn’t give much clarity over the batting position for the 2019 World Cup, but has hinted that the trio -Smith, Khawaja and himself would bat at the top of the order in the showpiece event.
The captain further went on to reveal that he is pondering to bat Usman at No.3 for Australia in the World Cup 2019, but made it clear that there’s nothing set in stone at the moment as he will juggle and tinker with the management regarding the same.
Finch also admitted he has less experience at the top of the order in the limited overs cricket as compared to Warner and Khawaja as their stats speak all -which hinted that Australian could open their batting with the two in the 50-over prestigious tournament starting from 30 May in England.
Finch told media on Monday, 15th April, “There’s going to be plenty to think about over the next 6-8 weeks … to try and find our best combination and the best way to structure up our side. Davey’s record at the top is unbelievable and Uzzie’s been in great nick recently. Whichever way we go, there’s scope to mix and match that as we go through the tournament. We’ll work that out, there’s nothing set in stone right now.”
He continued, “I think all three of us could (bat at No.3). I’ve probably got the least experience out of all three of us in that position in limited-overs cricket. It’s something we’ll juggle and tinker with. I think a left-right combination is probably the way we’ll go; it just depends on which left-hander (opens).”
On being asked if Khawaja would bat at No.3 if Warner returns to the opening spot, the Aussie captain replied, “I’d say yes, I’d imagine yes, but that’s still a long way out. He’s a class player and the form that he’s been in over the last six months in one-day cricket has been unbelievable.”
Finch added of Khawaja, “He’s done everything he can, he’s got big runs and big hundreds in important games and when a series has been on the line, so that’s a huge thing. And when he gets in, he’s so hard to stop as well.”
He also said that Steve Smith will be part of Australia’s best XI despite his slow return to the game since recent elbow surgery, as he is yet to make an impact with the bat even in the IPL 2019.
Finch signed off by saying, “I’ll say yes; the short answer is yes. All of that stuff is up for debate. Now that the squad’s been picked and we’ve got 15 to pick from, it makes things a lot clearer and we can start mapping that stuff out. When you’re still looking at 18 or 19 players to find the 11, I think it’s a lot tougher. If you push something hard enough, you can convince them.”
Australia’s squad for the World Cup:
Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
(With Cricket Australia Network Inputs)