Aaron Finch narrowly misses out on a place in an elite list on Test debut
Making his debut for Australia in whites, Aaron Finch did not break a sweat in both the innings of the first Test match against Pakistan in Dubai. It took him quite a while to get his baggy green cap but he made it memorable with great batting display. Finch played 93 ODIs and 42 T20Is before making his Test debut for Australia.
Chewing his bubble gum, as usual, Finch looked very calm and comfortable at the crease as he has been involved in two crucial opening partnerships – 142-run stand in the first innings and 87-run stand in the second innings, both with Usman Khawaja.
In the process, Aaron Finch scored a well-composed half-century (62 runs with 5 fours and a six) in the first innings and 49 runs in the second innings. Had Finch scored that one extra run in the second innings, he would have become only the sixth player from Australia to register a fifty-plus score in both innings on Test debut.
Herbie Collins (70 & 104 against England in 1920), Peter Toohey (82 & 57 against India in 1977), Rick Darling (65 & 56 against India in 1978), Bruce Laird (92 & 75 against West Indies in 1979) and Moises Henriques (68 & 81* against India in 2013) are the five Australian players till date to have registered a fifty-plus score in both the innings on their Test debut.
The 142-run stand between Finch and Khawaja in the first innings is the second highest opening partnership for the Australians in Test matches played in Asia. Their best was 176-run stand between Mark Taylor and Michael Slater which they scored against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 1994.
Meanwhile, the 142-run stand between Finch and Khawaja is only the third 100-plus opening partnership for Australia in Asia Tests against Pakistan. The 128-run partnership between Chris Rogers and David Warner is the third 100+ partnership in this list.
Usman Khawaja and captain Tim Paine batted brilliantly and played vital knocks on the fifth day in Dubai to ensure that the first Test match ends in a Draw. It was a great result for both the teams in the context of this two-match series as the ‘winner of the second Test match’ can win the series comfortably.