Australian white-ball skipper Aaron Finch had a disappointing 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) season for Kolkata Knight Riders, as he racked up just 86 runs in five innings, the highest score being 58. For 12 months, Finch has been unable to consistently score big and this is something Australian fans should be concerned about. Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has said that Finch is nowhere at his best and that he cannot be picked if he does not score points ahead of the T20 World Cup to be played in Australia this year.
“Unfortunately right now, the way he punches and what I’ve seen during this IPL, he’s nowhere near his best hitting. Whatever is going on, the things he’s working on with his technique and mentality, there a lot has changed since he was at his best, I believe if he doesn’t score points leading up to the T20 World Cup, and it’s along the same lines as what we saw here in the IPL for KKR, you can’t pick him. At the moment he is so far off, however good your captaincy skills are, if he continues to hit like he is it would be a big responsibility, especially as an opener,” Watson told The Grade Cricketer Podcast.
“It’s such an important role to get the team off to a flying start. He’s been so unbelievably good – I hit with him when he got 150 against England in the Rose Bowl in Southampton, he’s a world-class batsman , an unbelievably short form batsman – but to see where his game is now it’s quite a ways from there I think the team has to be chosen and then the captain is chosen from there especially if you are far away ,” he added.
Watson also said it is absurd that David Warner was not given the opportunity to lead Australia, having spent his time being involved in the ball tampering controversy. During the 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa, Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their involvement and it was said that Warner would not get a chance to lead Australia.
“David Warner is a leader, he has led the SunRisers Hyderabad to great success. He has had a lot of understanding of the game. This is my opinion, and I know it’s a big opinion within Australian cricket in certain parts, he has served his time yes he made a big mistake and he was involved in a big mistake but he was severely punished in so many ways the way they hung him up and everything really came back to him the financial impact that it had on him too, and in public he’s absolutely crushed across the board,” Watson said.
“He’s had his time. Everyone makes mistakes. Some are more public than others, some are a little worse than others, but you can forgive. I think it’s absurd that he shouldn’t be captain of a team, be it a Big Bash is team or whether it is an Australian team, if he is the right person at the right time. Think it’s absolutely ridiculous. He’s served his time, everyone makes mistakes,” he added.
Australia are the defending champions of the T20 World Cup as they won the title last year after beating New Zealand in the top match.