"Exciting time for Australia to build again," says Aaron Finch
What's the story
Ahead of Australia's upcoming series against England, Aussie opener Aaron Finch certainly doesn't mind putting a positive spin on things as they stand right now for the team. Reeling from the repercussions set off by the ball-tampering scandal followed by the suspensions of Steven Smith and David Warner, Australia might even "rebuild again", according to Finch.
In case you didn't know...
Earlier this year, it was in the series between Australia and South Africa that the ball-tampering scandal was brought to attention. Cameron Bancroft was picked up by the broadcasting video cameras while attempting to scratch the surface of the ball with sandpaper. David Warner and Steven Smith were allegedly the masterminds behind the incident, and the trio were punished with suspension from International Cricket. Smith and Warner are slated for a return before the Cricket World Cup that is scheduled to begin next June. Meanwhile, the selectors are at a loss to fill out the giant voids left behind by the two players.
It's not going to be easy for Australia as they prepare for the series in England. The suspensions of David Warner and Steve Smith have left a gaping hole at the top of the order. Their entire pace battery of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins is unavailable due to injuries. The odds appear to be stacked in plenty against the Kangaroos right now.
But therein lies the opportunity as well. An opportunity to move past everything that has happened and start afresh, to test out some young blood, and to get some action in conditions where next year's World Cup will be played - at least according to Aaron Finch.
While admitting the absence of opening partner David Warner will be a "little bit strange", he also said that it's an exciting time for Australian cricket to rebuild again.
"We've all had a chance to get our head around the fact that him, Steve (Smith) and Cameron (Bancroft) aren't going to be part of it for the next little while," Finch told the media on Thursday, June 7. "Which way the selectors go for the opening spots, I don't really know, but I think it's an exciting time for Australian cricket that we can start to build again."
Over the last few years, Finch has formed an explosive pairing with Warner at the top. How difficult is it to adapt to a new partner? "It's just building the relationship," Finch says. "That's the foundation of any good opening partnership. Getting an understanding on running between wickets, different styles of batting. You build that at training and out in the middle, we'll do that in the tour games. It's nothing dramatic, you might change a little thing here and there depending on who you're batting with."
The five-match ODI series kicks off on June 13 with the first match at the Oval. The ODI series will be followed by a one-off T20I match on June 27th. Australia will then tour to Zimbabwe for the tri-series against the hosts and Pakistan, provided Zimbabwe do not back out of the series, of which there are chances, as the players are unhappy at having not received long-overdue salaries and have threatened to boycott the series.
Who do you think would be a viable replacement for Warner as Finch's opening pair? How do you think the Aussies will fare in the upcoming games? Will they be able to put their ghosts to rest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.