Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson is concerned by Aaron Finch’s recent run of form, but believes it’s too late to consider replacing him for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Finch has been dismissed in single figures a total of nine times from his last 18 T20 innings for Australia over the past 12 months and in that same period has made it past 50 just twice.
The 35-year-old also looked out of touch during the recent IPL as he scored just 86 runs from five hits during an inglorious stint with Kolkata Knight Riders.
On face value, it appears Finch’s stocks are well on the decline and Watson is worried the experienced right-hander could be a liability for Australia at the T20 World Cup later this year if he can’t turn his recent form around.
“What I saw of him during the IPL in particular for KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders), wasn’t great and it didn’t fill me with a lot of confidence,” Watson told Isa Guha on The ICC Review.
“But there’s a lot of cricket leading up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and I know he will be working through it as much as he can and, for Australia’s sake, I really hope he can sort that out.
“But at the moment it is pretty glaring.
“He has got the skills and he is one of the greatest short-form batters that has played for Australia, so he can definitely turn it around, but what I saw didn’t fill me with a lot of confidence.”
Watson believes Finch is focusing too much on the ball that swings back into the right-hander early in the innings and said he knows all about that issue given his own worries with that kind of delivery during his career.
“You can see that everything he is setting himself up for is to not be beaten by the ball swinging back in,” Watson noted.
“I was there, especially in Test cricket, and I knew the different things I had to work through from a technical point of view.
“But then also from a mental point of view as well, you are probably only ever looking for that ball, which means you are missing out on other scoring opportunities.
“You are setting yourself up for that ball and that ball only and that is exactly what it looked like for KKR.”
But Watson said that with the T20 World Cup just under four months away, it was likely too late for Australia to consider looking for a new opener.
“The hierarchy of Australian cricket – (national selector) George Bailey and (coach) Andrew McDonald – are saying that Aaron Finch is going to be the captain for the T20 World Cup, so I would be surprised if they changed that,” Watson noted .
“They are just going to have to put a lot of work in to get Aaron moving in the right direction with his technique.
“Everyone I talk to about his captaincy says they enjoy everything that Aaron Finch does on the field … he has obviously been doing a lot right.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed that Aaron is able to sort out what is going on with his technique at the moment and he has got plenty of games to get it right up until the T20 World Cup.”