George Bailey Backs Finch To Lead Australia In T20I WC

George Bailey Backs Aaron Finch To Lead Australia In T20I World Cup

Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters

George Bailey, cricketer-turned-selector has backed Australia’s white-ball limited-overs skipper to lead the Australian side in the upcoming T20I World Cup amid raging doubts around his batting and leadership credentials.

Aaron Finch has come under constant scrutiny, owing to his horrendous run of form in the last six months or so. Former Australian cricketers, led by former batsman Mark Waugh, have recently hinted at Aaron Finch losing his spot even without any backup choice insight.

George Bailey
George Bailey | AFP

George Bailey: Aaron Finch Has Got A Terrific Average And He Will Remain Skipper At The World Cup

George Bailey said Aaron Finch has got a terrific average of 36.64 in T20Is and predicts he will remain the skipper of Australia at the upcoming T20I World Cup in 2021. Mark Waugh believes Australia’s white-ball limited-overs captain Aaron Finch is not immune from being dropped due to poor form.

“He’s got a terrific average, he’s the captain of this side and he’ll be the captain of this side at the World Cup. It (Aaron Finch’s criticism) is just complete white noise for me,” said Bailey.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch, AFP

Aaron Finch’s form has been on the downward slope since featuring in the IPL 2020. Playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise, he averaged just over 22 managing 268 runs from 12 matches last season. The 34-year-old opener was dropped from the side mid-way and found himself out of the franchise as he went unsold at the IPL 2021 auction.

The opener failed yet again after scoring a sluggish 14-ball 12 when the visitors were chasing a daunting 220 for victory in the second T20I against New Zealand and has not scored even a 50 in his last 26 T20 innings, averaging 15.00 with a pitiful strike-rate of 110 over that period.

George Bailey: Aaron Finch Would Be In The Top 5 Or Top 10 Leading Run Scorers

Generally a consistent run-scorer for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, Aaron Finch had a forgettable season there as well. In 13 trips to the crease, he could only collect 179 runs at an average of 13.77 and a strike rate of 113.29. Talking about the same, George Bailey attributed the poor returns to the gruelling run of international cricket of late.

“He was pretty zonked. But he tried to do the right thing and get back to help a young (Melbourne) Renegades side. His reflection on that was that he probably should’ve sat longer out and come back a bit fresher,” Bailey, who played 125 internationals for Australia, observed.

David Warner
David Warner (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Aaron Finch is the 2nd highest T20I run-scorer for Australia and 8th in the overall list. George Bailey believes Aaron Finch will conclude his career among the top 10 run-scorers.

“He’d be in the top five or 10 leading run-scorers, and if he doesn’t have the highest strike-rate amongst them he’d be absolutely close. And he’s done it very, very consistently for Australia over a long period of time, and will continue to do so into the future,” Bailey added.

Aaron Finch is currently involved in a 5-match T20I series against New Zealand. The Kiwis are leading 2-0 after two games and he has, till now, managed the highest score of 12.

The backing of a national selector will certainly help his cause. However, he will still look to be back amongst runs for some self-assuring return to form in the 3rd T20I on March 3. Aaron Finch has scored 2162 runs in T20Is and is only behind David Warner who has 2265 runs in T20Is for Australia.