Melbourne: Pressure could be building on Australia skipper Aaron Finch to perform in the T20I series against the West Indies ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup at home, given that tall all-rounder Cameron Green has retained his place in the T20I squad for the two games against the Caribbean side beginning in Gold Coast on October 5.
While Green is not a part of the 15-member Australian T20 World Cup squad, as they aim to retain the trophy won last year in the UAE, the fact that he figures in the side for the West Indies series could be an indication the power-hitter and utility bowler might get a last-minute World Cup call-up.
While Finch failed to fire yet again in the three-match T20I series against India, scoring a below-par 22, 31 and 7 as the visitors lost 2-1, Green scored a couple of half-centuries opening with the skipper, indicating he is a serious contender for the opener’s slot, should the Cricket Australia selectors take a call at the last minute.
With batting stalwart David Warner, who Green replaced as opener in the three matches in India, and the trio of Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc returning to the side for the series against the West Indies, Australia could well look at Green to open with the Warner.
CA selector George Bailey indicated he was taking a guarded approach ahead of the World Cup without indicating what lies in store for Finch.
“We have and are taking a cautious approach with the World Cup on the near horizon,” Bailey was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au. “To have four key players return gives us the ability to take a conservative path with any minor issues and resolve those well in time for the World Cup.”
He also expects bowlers Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar, who have minor injuries from the India series, to return for the three-match series against England ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Australia coach Andrew McDonald too reposed faith in Green, saying his side was comfortably placed should the need for reinforcements arise.
“I think he’s (Green) certainly embracing the challenge of opening. We asked him to show intent at the top of the order and everything we have seen suggests he’s doing that,” he said.
“It’s fortuitous (with Warner absent for the India series) but he’s taken that opportunity and that’s all you can do. He’s taken on some of the best bowlers in world cricket. To do it two out of three times is very impressive, and bodes well.
“If anything were to happen with someone in the (World Cup squad) 15, I think it’s obvious that we’ve got some good depth there.”