Australia's Finch strives for continuity ahead of T20 World Cup

Australia's Finch strives for continuity ahead of T20 World Cup
Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - Australia v England - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 11, 2019 Australia's Aaron Finch in action Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/Files -
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch craves for continuity in team selection ahead of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup at home as they prepare the blueprint for success with three-match series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan from Sunday.

With a year left for the T20 World Cup, Australia will kick off their home summer at Adelaide Oval on Sunday with the first of three Twenty20 internationals against 2014 world champions Sri Lanka.

The 2009 champions Pakistan will be their next opponent in another three-match series starting in Sydney on Nov. 3 and Finch said he hopes the group chosen for the six matches will provide the base for the T20 World Cup squad.

The opening batsman said the preparation for the 2020 tournament is at a better stage than how they were placed at the same point 12 months ago for this year’s 50-over World Cup in England.

“A bit more advanced I would say, especially with the style we want to play,” Finch told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.

“We know what style we want to go with over the next 12 months. That makes it a bit clearer to be able to map out how you go about that. I expect it to be a little bit smoother. Obviously, with form and injury, the personnel can change,” Finch said.

“But the 14 guys we have got here, that’s the plan to move forward with. Over the next 12 months and leading up to that World Cup to have that solid base of 14-16 players that can take us into that tournament.”

Finch’s men lost to eventual champions England in the semi-finals of the 50-over World Cup earlier this year.

The T20 World Cup is the only piece of major silverware missing in Australia’s bursting trophy cabinet and they have scheduled plenty of matches in the shortest format before next year’s tournament.

“It’s just a bit of a change of mind-set of balancing up our team,” Finch said. “All in all, we want to win as many games as we can and create a style and culture around the group of winning T20Is,” he added.

The series will also give Australian fans the chance to see former captain Steve Smith and David Warner in action in an international match at home since their bans for ball tampering.

Smith was also suspended from Australian captaincy for two years, but the ban ends at the end of March. He was the leader for Australia in all three formats during the events of Cape Town last year.

Tim Paine was handed Australia’s test captaincy, while the mantle in the shorter formats went to Finch.

“Not on my radar at all,” Smith said, when asked if he was considering returning to captain the side again. “Finchy and Painey are both doing terrific jobs so I’m enjoying playing and pretty chilled.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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