Only weeks after admitting he thought his international career was over, Shane Watson has now been named as Australia captain for Sunday’s third KFC T20 INTL against India in Sydney as cover for the injured Aaron Finch.
Cricket Australia face an awkward situation as injured T20 captain Aaron Finch replaced by Usman Khawaja for the third and final T20 against India on Sunday. Finch’s injury had left selectors scrambling for an alternate leader.
Khawaja’s call up is the result of his outstanding displays in the Test team and more recently for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, where he left Shane Watson to conclude he was batting as well as anyone he has ever seen.
“Usman is very well placed to be able to play anywhere at the moment, wherever the opportunity arises,” Watson said, “because he’s batting incredibly well, as well as I’ve ever seen anyone bat.
“He’s ready to go, and whatever [format] the opportunity arises, he’s in incredible control of his game at the moment. Whatever opportunities come his way he incredibly deserves.”
With David Warner and Steve Smith already set to fly to New Zealand on Saturday, Finch’s injury leaves the likes of Watson, Matthew Wade and Shaun Marsh in contention to lead Australia at the SCG though it may be possible to parachute in the erstwhile T20 leader George Bailey.
Now Cricket Australia has arranged a phone meeting to settle the question of captaincy with all three choices unavailable for various reasons.
“Aaron is being assessed at the moment but unfortunately, he’s definitely done some form of damage to his hamstring,” Watson said after Australia’s series-sealing defeat.
“At this point in time obviously we don’t exactly know the extent, but unfortunately, for Finchy it’s at least probably a week or so out, from my own personal experience a number of times. It’s very unfortunate for him because he batted beautifully again tonight.”
Finch’s Australia tour is also under question.