Australia lose captain Aaron Finch for 3rd T20I; Usman Khawaja gets long-awaited call-up
Shane Watson is expected to lead the Australia team in Finchs absence
Australia have been losing services of their premier players for the whole duration of the T20I series against India, and the latest blow to have struck them is the loss of their captain Aaron Finch. He had been ruled out of Sunday’s clash with a hamstring injury. In-form batsman Usman Khawaja has been called up as replacement.
Finch was seen struggling to make his ground in the second match on Friday, and was writhing in agony as he was run out in the course of the 27-run defeat. It might have been the hamstring which ended his innings unfortunately after a well-made 48-ball 74, and it has now forced him out of the series.
Shane Watson is expected to lead the Australia team in Finch’s absence in the 3rd T20I at Sydney. Steve Smith and David Warner, the seniormost players in the squad, have already left for the ODI series in New Zealand, and so are not available to deputize.
The 34-year-old Watson, whose recall to the team left many eyebrows raised very recently, will now be called upon to lead his country.
"Aaron suffered the injury to his left hamstring while batting and although it is too early to confirm the full extent of the issue, we do know that it will prevent him playing in Sydney on Sunday," Cricket Australia sources revealed.
"Aaron will remain in Melbourne to undergo scans and we will be in a position to announce in due course the expected length of time he will be sidelined."
Hope injury does not keep me out of ICCT20: Finch
Khawaja has been in supreme form recently, and the ‘Test specialist’ has plundered 345 runs in just four matches in a victorious Big Bash League campaign for Sydney Thunder. Khawaja will most likely be called upon to open the innings in Finch’s stead alongside Shaun Marsh.
It is likely that Khawaja will be considered for the New Zealand ODI series as well, depending on how he fares in the match and how bad Finch’s injury diagnosis is.
"It is hugely frustrating to suffer this injury," Finch told Cricket Australia.
"I am hoping it will not keep me out for a lengthy period of time, especially with an ICC World Twenty20 on the horizon, but I will be guided by the specialists."
Australia squad for third KFC T20 INTL: Cameron Bancroft (wk), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson.