D’Arcy Short was brought in to the Aussie ODI squad for David Warner, but Aussie captain Aaron Finch has a different opening partner in mind.
Matthew Wade and Marnus Labuschagne are the frontrunners to replace injured opener David Warner in Wednesday’s third and final ODI against India, with captain Aaron Finch looking for as little disruption as possible to his all-conquering team.
Warner will also miss the three T20s against India after suffering a groin injury at the SCG on Sunday and is facing a race against the clock to be ready for the first Test in Adelaide on December 17.
The state of the Manuka Oval wicket in Canberra could play a part in the selectors’ decision as the Aussies look for a 3-0 series clean sweep, with Finch reluctant to change a middle-order that has been functioning so well.
But Finch said Labuschagne, who made 70 on Sunday batting at number four, could be a consideration along with the natural “life-for-like” replacement in Wade, who played the last of his 94 ODIS in 2017.
That’s what you have to weigh up, whether you do go for the pure like-for-like with Wadey or reshuffle it,” Finch said on Tuesday.
“The middle order has been playing really well as a group.
“Marnus is a class player, if we go that way, great. The role of Alex Carey and (Glenn Maxwell) at six and seven has been crucial.
“Being 2-0 up in the series you can look to experiment or play the safe option.”
Labuschagne said this week he would “love to” open if asked.
D’Arcy Short was brought into the squad as a replacement for Warner, but the captain didn’t mention him as a contender.
Fast starts have been crucial to the two wins so far in the series, with both opening partnerships between Finch and Warner passing 100.
Finch also said it was just a “matter of time” for fast bowler Mitchell Starc to find his radar after a wayward opening in an otherwise dominant showing from the Aussies.
Starc, the only Australian nominee for the ICC’s one-day player of the decade, vented his frustrations in to his hat at the SCG on Sunday after returning figures of 0-82 in the second ODI.
That followed an inglorious opening at the same ground last Friday when the left-armer delivered an 11-ball first over that went for 20 runs.
“He hasn’t been at his very best … his standards are a lot higher than you would expect from most people because of how dominant he has been in the last eight or nine years in the white ball formats,” Finch said.
“He’d love to be swinging the ball and getting it right early on.
“But it’s the reality when you are defending big totals and you are playing against good players they are coming hard at you.
“There will be some conversations about what we can do different, whether it’s a tactical thing or when we are using him through the innings.
“But it’s definitely not panic stations with Mitch”.