Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch wants to have a final go at resurrecting his Test career, having had a tough time of it in five matches so far.
The 32-year-old made his Test debut in October 2018, almost eight years after he first represented Australia in a T20I in 2011. Tasked with bolstering a batting line-up depleted by the suspended trio from the ball-tampering saga, Finch played five Tests over three months, before being dropped for the Sri Lanka home series earlier this year. After 10 Test innings, Finch averages 27.80, with just two fifty-plus scores.
“For me personally, it’s about probably having one really good crack at trying to get back to the Test team again,” Finch told SEN radio station, speaking about the urge to reclaim his spot. “The young guys who came in and did well throughout the back half of last summer did a really good job. I still think that I’ve got one really good crack at it left in me.”
Kurtis Patterson, the New South Wales batsman, pounced on the chance when he was handed his debut against Sri Lanka, notching up a hundred in only his second Test innings. Travis Head and Joe Burns have also presented strong cases for themselves, and there’s plenty of competition for Finch to deal with.
“I think the young kids who have come in have taken their opportunities, Kurtis Patterson and Travis Head, these guys have come in and done reasonably well when they’ve played,” Finch said.
🚀 Aaron Finch doing what Aaron Finch does at The Kia Oval.
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) August 20, 2019
Finch was Surrey’s leading run-getter in the 2019 T20 Blast, after his scorching form at the World Cup, where he averaged 50.70, and put on three century stands with opening partner David Warner. However, he has played just one first-class game this year, scoring 90 for Surrey against Hampshire.
“Kurtis got a hundred in the last Test that he played. Will Pucovski and that whole crop of young batters who are coming through are so talented. I think I’ve got one more push in it for myself. If it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen. I’m comfortable with that. It will be nice to play a few Shield games in a row, to be fair. It’s been a while since I’ve played more than one in a row.”
Having featured in the middle order for most of his first-class career, Finch’s experiment as an opener in Tests didn’t reap the rewards he’d hoped. He admitted his preference for batting down the order, but is prepared to play as opener for Victoria if it improves his chance for an Australia spot.
“Obviously [I will] just try and get some runs, get some big runs there. That’s my plan,” he said. “We haven’t spoken about that [batting position] just yet. There’s a lot of quality players in Victoria at the moment so getting a game might be the first start. I think middle order will probably be my preferred spot.
“I know doing the opening duties last summer was one of the first times I’d really done it in the longer format but you take any opportunity you can when you play for Australia.”