Australia’s head selector defends decision to back Aaron Finch despite dismal T20 World Cup exit

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Cricket fans who watched in agony as Aaron Finch struggled to hit a ball in T20 World Cup were WRONG, Australia’s head selector says 

  • Australia were knocked out of the T20 World Cup in the group stages 
  • Captain Aaron Finch came into the tournament on a poor run of form 
  • He was criticised after scoring slowly in the win against Sri Lanka
  • Finch was named Player of the Match in the win against Ireland
  • But he missed Australia’s last group game against Afghanistan through injury
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news at Daily Mail Australia 

Australia’s national selector George Bailey has slammed criticism of Aaron Finch as ‘confused’ and insisted he deserved his place in the team for the T20 World Cup.

Australia’s title defence ended on Saturday, as they were knocked out in the group stages after finishing below New Zealand and England on net run rate in Group 1.

Following the dismal performances at the World Cup, selectors have come under fire for their calls with Cricket Australia urged to make drastic changes to the team.

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Australia’s national selector George Bailey (right) has defended the decision to include captain Aaron Finch (left) in the squad for the Aussies’ dismal T20 World Cup 

Finch’s inclusion in the squad was vehemently criticised before the tournament even begun, with the 35-year-old enduring a dismal run of form in both formats of white-ball cricket.

‘A lot of people were getting a little confused with one-day cricket and T20 cricket and there’s a little bit of a difference there,’ Bailey said as Australia announced their ODI and Test squads for the summer on Tuesday.

Before the T20 World Cup, he averaged just 14.6 with the bat this year, way down from a career average that had never dipped below 28.6.

Out for 13 against New Zealand in Australia’s 89-run loss in their opening game of the T20 World Cup, Finch finished 31 not out off 42 balls in the win against Sri Lanka but was criticised for taking his time to get going. 

The Aussie skipper was named Player of the Match against Ireland after hitting 63 off 44 balls

The Aussie skipper was named Player of the Match against Ireland after hitting 63 off 44 balls 

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Finch finished the T20 World Cup as Australia's third-most prolific run scorer

Finch finished the T20 World Cup as Australia’s third-most prolific run scorer 

The 35-year-old responded by smashing three sixes and six fours as he top-scored for Australia with 63 off 44 balls in the 42-run win over Ireland and was named Player of the Match. 

And Bailey believes the figures justified the selectors’ decision to back the captain. 

‘A lot of teams have had someone who played a bit of an anchor role and that seems to have been spruiked as a reason that other teams are having success,’ he said. 

‘Finchy was almost morphing into that type of player for us a little bit.’

Finch came under pressure after struggling to get going against New Zealand and Sri Lanka

Finch came under pressure after struggling to get going against New Zealand and Sri Lanka 

With 107 runs Finch was Australia’s third-most prolific run scorer behind Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell, who hit 126 and 118 runs respectively. 

Crucially, however, the duo played one more innings than the Australian captain, who missed the final game group game against Afghanistan with a hamstring injury.

Of the batters who played at least three innings, Tim David, Stoinis and Maxwell were the only players to finish the tournament with a better strike rate than Finch’s 110.30. 

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‘I think he played well,’ Bailey added. 

Finch missed the game against Afghanistan with a hamstring injury and watched from the sidelines as the Aussies won by four runs in Adelaide on Friday

Finch missed the game against Afghanistan with a hamstring injury and watched from the sidelines as the Aussies won by four runs in Adelaide on Friday 

‘And I think now he’s bought himself some time as to make up his mind and see what he wants to do in the future.’ 

In September, Finch announced his retirement from ODI cricket and relinquished the captain of Australia’s one-day team to focus on T20 and said he ‘would like to’ remain in charge of the latter side beyond the World Cup. 

 On Sunday, however, he insisted he would not be rushed into making a decision over his T20 future.

‘There’s not another international T20 until August, so there’s quite a long break,’ he said. Still plenty of time to be able to weigh all that up. It’s been a pretty good ride regardless of what happens.’

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