India vs Australia 2017: Injury concern for Aussies as Aaron Finch leaves training early
What’s the story?
Australian opening batsman Aaron Finch faces a race against time to be fit for the first ODI of the five-match series against India on Sunday, as he as aggravated his injured calf at training in Chennai.
According to a report in cricket.com.au, Finch’s injured right calf pulled up sore during Australia's warm-up at the Chepauk Stadium earlier today. He left training immediately, pulling out from the rest of the session, to apply ice to the injured muscle.
In his absence, Hilton Cartwright of Travis Head may open for Australia.
In case you didn’t know…
Finch sustained the injury while playing in the County Championships for Surrey about six weeks ago, in July. Since arriving in India, he has been working on his fitness looking to get ready for the first match.
He was rested for the warm-up match against Board President’s XI on Tuesday but had trained earlier this week.
The heart of the matter
Finch was expected to play his part in the series opener. However, the unfortunate aggravation of his injury and subsequent pulling out from training puts a question mark on the player's availability for the match on Sunday.
In Finch’s absence, uncapped all-rounder Hilton Cartwright, who opened in the warm-up game, could be slotted in. However, given Cartwright was dismissed for a for a second-ball duck in Australia's 103-run win on Tuesday, the visitors may well go for a different option.
In that case, the Aussies may choose to elevate Travis Head, from No. 4 to the top order for the first match. Head had scored a century as an opener on Australia Day this year and could be a temporary solution to the problem. David Saker, the stand-in coach, though, had confirmed that Head has been earmarked to fill the No. 4 role.
Finch’s injury is definitely not a series-ending one, and the Aussies might go for a stop-gap opener until he returns.
Australia take on India in a five-match ODI series beginning on Sunday, 17th September, 2017 in Chennai. The second ODI will be played in Kolkata on 21st September while the remaining ODIs will be played in Indore, Bengaluru and Nagpur.
The ODI series will be followed by a three-match T20I series. Even if Finch cannot make it for the first ODI, he will definitely be fit for the rest of the tour.
Finch is one of the best openers in world cricket in the limited overs format. Having played in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he is familiar with Indian conditions.
His injury is a big blow for Australia but they have able players who can easily take his place.