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Australia’s T20 batting lineup is monstrous

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    Australia’s lack of batting dynamism may have been exposed in ODIs, but they will start the Twenty20 tri-series today with a line-up overflowing with ballistic hitting power.

    A ferocious top six, in batting order, of Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis should be unleashed as that series starts today with Australia facing New Zealand in Sydney.

    Although Warner and Finch have long been Australia’s first-choice opening combination in T20Is, both men have had success further down the order in the shortest format, so Chris Lynn and D’Arcy Short should be used at the top.

    Finch showcased his versatility during the past two IPLs when he batted at four or lower in 17 matches for Gujarat Lions and adapted brilliantly, making 450 runs at 32, with a blistering strike rate of 156.

    The Victorian underlined he is not just a top order slugger who likes to tee off against the new ball, but that he also has the ability to guide his side’s innings through the middle overs against spin.

    Warner, meanwhile, has batted at three or four at times in each of his past four IPL seasons and, like Finch, has proved he can expertly control the tempo of an innings through the middle to late overs.

    The flexibility of Warner and Finch allows Australia to bat Lynn and Short in their preferred position as openers.

    Australia’s best XI for today’s match:
    1. Chris Lynn
    2. D’Arcy Short
    3. David Warner
    4. Aaron Finch
    5. Glenn Maxwell
    6. Marcus Stoinis
    7. Alex Carey
    8. Ashton Agar
    9. Andrew Tye
    10. Adam Zampa
    11. Billy Stanlake

    Short has been in extraordinary form at the top of the order for Hobart in the current BBL season, leading the competition in runs with 504 runs at 56, and a strike rate of 148.

    The left hander has been remarkably destructive during the Power Play, blasting the ball through and over the in-field with ease.

    Lynn, meanwhile, has long rode roughshod over the BBL, vaporising bowling attacks at will. Australian fans will be itching to see him unleash on international cricket, with Lynn having been limited to just five T20Is over the space of four years due to his fragile body.

    Lynn and Short are as explosive an opening pair as exist in T20Is. If the fact they’re followed by two of the world’s best T20 batsmen in Warner and Finch isn’t intimidating enough, Australia then have two more muscular strikers at five and six in Maxwell and Stoinis.

    Maxwell is the fastest-scoring batsman in the history of T20Is, with his jaw-dropping strike rate of 165 well clear of the next best – 157 by New Zealand’s Colin Munro

    Glenn Maxwell

    (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

    Finch (strike rate of 148) and Warner (139) also feature prominently on that list, giving Australia three of the swiftest scoring batsmen T20Is have witnessed.

    Joining Maxwell in the middle order is Australia’s ODI ‘Man of the Moment’ Marcus Stoinis. No Australian ODI batsman over the past year has struck the ball more cleanly and powerfully than Stoinis, who in that time has churned out 566 runs at 62, with a strike rate of 104.

    His career T20 record is decidedly ordinary, with a batting average of 22 and a bowling average of 26. But then again Stoinis’ domestic record in 50-over cricket is poor, too, yet he’s been dominant in ODIs.

    Based on his scorching touch in ODIs and in this BBL – 179 runs at 45, with a strike rate of 144 – it won’t surprise me if Stoinis excels in the tri-series.

    Rounding out this power-laden batting order, at seven and eight, are this BBL’s second-leading runscorer Alex Carey and bowling all-rounder Ashton Agar, who has 149 runs at 50 in this BBL.

    So Australia have not just a wealth of boundary-clearing ability, but also great depth. It may just be the most exciting batting unit Australia have ever fielded in a T20I.

    Of course, that’s just on paper. All of this hype will mean nothing if Australia can’t finally gel as a team. Australia are ranked a lowly seventh in T20Is although, such is the volatility of these rankings, they could leap to as high as second if they perform strongly in this tri-series.

    Certainly they have no excuses on the batting front – if this top eight can’t succeed in T20Is then Australia are truly lost in this format.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (65)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 3rd 2018 @ 7:02am
      DJ DJ said | February 3rd 2018 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      I would be interested to hear views on why Australia has performed so poorly in international T20s. Is it because we just don’t care enough and most of the focus is on test matches? This T20 side looks unbeatable on paper.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:41am
        Rats said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        I guess it’s mostly because players dont care much about T20s. They realise they are playing it only for the economic reasons. Even a player like Warner would value and respect his test hundred over his T20 hundred. They may not admit it openly as it won’t be a good advert for T20s.
        Regarding Australia performing poorly in T20s, I guess the gap between two teams in T20s doesn’t matter. U just need a crazy 10 or 15 mins from opponents to lose a match. Teams like SL and WI would always fancy beating Australia in T20s. But no match in ODIs. Tests are far fetched.. the shorter the games are, lesser the gap between two teams.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:01am
          shaun said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          This is absolute rubbish. Any international representative should be taking every game they play for their country seriously. No one, especially not professional athletes, like to fail.
          This also has further reaching consequences as you could see from the IPL auction. These guys would all want to do well as it may increase their value in the T20 circuit

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:52am
            Mattyb said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Australia don’t perform as well as some other countries at T20 simply because other countries are better at T20 than Australia.
            Any suggestions that the Australian players don’t care is completely absurd,their just not overly suited to the format.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 2:56pm
          Simoc said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          You got it back to front Rats. The players much prefer T20s which is also what the public want. That’s where the fame and fortune are. And it is over in three hours.

          None of this 6 hours bowling, fielding, batting in the heat day after day. Shortening your career for a pittance in the hope some washed up old has been who can’t otherwise find a job, will notice you.

          As the kids are pretty much 100% T20 fans the life of test match cricket is limited to this generation.
          We’ll probably keep playing the Poms as smashing them here is such fun.
          We just had the most boring Boxing day test match ever.

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:14pm
            Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            That’s only the case for retired players, Simoc. Every first class cricketer prefers first class cricket then the next best (50 over games). T20 is a no stress, lightweight, fun training session that presents a well deserved, lucrative payday.

            Give them a choice, it won’t be T20. Their chosen sport isn’t played like that.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:47am
        Rats said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        Take India’s last tour of Australia for example. India lost the ODIs. But won T20s…
        Chasing 170ish in T20s, they didn’t struggle. But in ODIs you need the same determination and application from batsmen for a longer time…

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:00am
          Flemo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

          We perform poorly because we also regularly rest some of our best T20 players due to test commitments ie Smith, khawaj, starc would be easy walk ins to that side but all are being rested due to the South Africa series

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:00am
            NickBrisbane said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Smith should never be in this team

            • Columnist

              February 3rd 2018 @ 10:11am
              Ronan O'Connell said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              I agree with Nick, I wouldn’t have Smith anywhere near the Australian T20I team in his current white ball form.

              I’d have both Khawaja and SMarsh ahead of him in the pecking order, looking to squeeze into this batting lineup.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:45am
                Nudge said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                Perhaps Smith was just out of form due to a massive workload during the tests. Pretty sure he was one of the leading run scores in the ipl last year, and always goes for massive money. The Indians obviously rate him very highly. In form and refreshed I’d have him at 4 before Finch

              • Columnist

                February 3rd 2018 @ 11:02am
                Ronan O'Connell said | February 3rd 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

                No way I’d drop Finch for Smith, just compare their T20 records for Australia from a similar number of matches (Finch 33, Smith 30):

                Finch …….. 1,132 runs at 38, with a strike rate of 148

                Smith ………. 431 runs at 22, with a strike rate of 122

                Smith didn’t play any T20Is last year, but his career numbers correspond closely with his 2016 return – averaging 24 at a strike rate of 122 from eight matches.

                In peak white ball form Smith probably squeezes into Australia’s T20 side, but the way he’s batted in ODIs the past year he’s a long way from such form.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 11:25am
                Nudge said | February 3rd 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                But you’ve moved Finch away from opening in the power play overs to no 4. Different ball game. Smith at some point needs to get some continuity in 20/20 international cricket. We see when he gets that in the IPL he’s one of the best in the world. Great player of spin which is what you need in the middle overs of a 20/20

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 11:27am
                Flemo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Ronan you make some good points, I would have finch and warner opening with Khawaja at 3 as Khawaja has been the best batsman in the big bash along with Lynn over the last few years and is an absolute master of the power plays. Smith would be good at 4 if we were to lose quick wickets otherwise you would send in a stonis or Maxwell to up the tempo, not sure who I would have as the keeper

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 12:44pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Look west. Turner and Shaun Marsh would enrich this team. You have to reward Short for his performances but he only played for Hobart because he would have just been depth at The Scorchers. Turner and Marsh are better than Short.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 2:14pm
                Internal Fixation said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                I’m looking west and seeing a team that lost in the semi to a team minus the excellent player under debate. You make no sense.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:17pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                If that’s all you see, you must have seen only one game of T20 in your life.

                Your comment indicates that may very well be the case.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 4:05pm
                Internal Fixation said | February 3rd 2018 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                I have seen more than you as games viewed through one eye only count as half….

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 4:09pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

                If you’ve been watching with two eyes…or one…you would have seen The Scorchers win more games than any other team since the inception of the BBL. Did you know that?

                You seem to have only watched Thursday’s game. Care to concede you have watched others?

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 4:23pm
                Internal Fixation said | February 3rd 2018 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

                Plenty. But admit this year only 1 match in person. Went to all 5 days of the Adelaide test with a higher test crowd than will ever be at Optus.. but I digress

                Scorchers are good and consistent – have admired them for a long time.

                But Short is a walk up starter in that side.

                The depth you have been on about forever wasn’t enough this year.

                I think you need to step back and look at how silly your argument is about Short. Voges has retired now so maybe they should get him back.

              • Roar Rookie

                February 3rd 2018 @ 7:26pm
                DJ DJ said | February 3rd 2018 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Clever

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 6:02pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

                I have a hunch you only know who WA has on the horizon when you see them play.

                Voges and Johnson are always going to be winding down. They’ll be replaced by those on the way. If Agar is going to be playing more and more for Oz, it is likely that the next contract will go to Clint Hinchliffe. Excellent batsman and very tight, wicket taking left hand orthodox spinner. Played a number of List A games for WA and Australia already.

                When Paris, Behrendorff, NCN, David Moody and Simon Mackin are up and running, Johnno will dip his hat and call it a day. He has already said he wants to spend time doing some coaching work with Matt Kelly. See that list of names? Add Richardson and Tye.

                The Scorchers have the future in hand.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:03am
        Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        It’s because we don’t pick enough West Aussies.

        Attacks that have included McKay, Hastings, Boland and Henriques were never going to keep things tight.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 2:34pm
          Rob said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

          Western Australians? What happened to the Sandgropers in the finals? Klinger(Vic) and Johnson(QLD) won the BBL final for the Scorchers last year? Lyn was MVP and Dunk best bat in 2016. Ben McDermott and Ben Laughlin are standing up when it counts this season. Go the Queenslanders.

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2018 @ 2:46pm
            Rellum said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            I would love to see a QLD origin team, get a game or two.

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:08pm
            Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

            They were weak links in the final. We’d be talking NCN, Behrendorff (he was nowhere until he came under the WA banner), Paris, Tye, Agar, Whiteman with a fully healed finger…get the picture?

            If you want to discount Klinger and Johnson, do we also claim Short, Stoinis, Harris? Seems to me that you are not thinking very much.

            • February 3rd 2018 @ 4:06pm
              Internal Fixation said | February 3rd 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

              Short is from the NT genius

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 4:11pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

                He’s been with Gosnells (in Perth’s foothills) since he was a teenager.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 5:25pm
                Nudge said | February 3rd 2018 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                That qualifies as Perth. I would have to agree with Don WA do have a lot of good young cricketers on the rise. NSW’s are the dominate state, but WA are producing the next most promising at the moment.

    • February 3rd 2018 @ 7:41am
      Targa said | February 3rd 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      I don’t think it will swing for Boult and Wheeler/Southee so the interesting thing will be how the Aussie batsmen go if it is turning. Santner and Sodhi are a big step up from Rashid, Moeen and Root and Australia really struggled against the spinners in the one dayers against England.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:18am
        Jameswm said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        They struggled pushing it around. Bit different hitting it. Different personnel too.

        Santner is a big step up?

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:29am
          Targa said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          Santner is the no1 ranked T20 bowler in the world just ahead of Rashid Khan (Sodhi is 3rd). Santner is the 7th ranked ODI bowler but 2nd spinner (Imran Tahir is ranked no 1, then 5 seamers). Santner is basically a more athletic Vettori, who has developed a (left armer) carrom ball. He’s still struggling in test cricket, but excellent in white ball cricket.

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:39am
            Targa said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            Now I’ve written that he’ll probably get hit for 50 off his 4 overs!

            • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:17pm
              Jameswm said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              Fair enough, I’ll watch him

      • Columnist

        February 3rd 2018 @ 10:00am
        Ronan O'Connell said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        Santner and Sodhi are quality T20 spinners – Santner so hard to get away, and Sodhi a born wicket taker.

        They’re going to play a huge role today, particularly with Australia having several batsmen who don’t really like starting against spin – Head, Lynn and Short.

        The last time Australia played NZ in a T20 – at World T20 2016 in Dharamsala, Santner and Sodhi combined to take 3-44 from their 8 overs.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 11:43am
          Jacko said | February 3rd 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          Certainly there has been a move in T20 to bowl spin in the first 6 overs…force the batsmen to hit rather than rely on the pace on the ball

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:41pm
          13th Man said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          Spin will play a huge part tonight with the Aussies also probably going in with Agar and Zampa as well. Agar has been brilliant this BBL but I wish we’d picked Fawad Ahmed whose been the pick of the Australian leggies in the BBL.
          As for the Aussie side Ronan, Finch is ruled out meaning that I think the side will be
          Short
          Lynn
          Warner
          Carey
          Maxwell
          Stoinis
          Agar
          Dwarshius
          Tye
          Zampa
          Stanlake.

          My guess is Aus will go in with 5 bowling options and bat Agar at 7 seeing that Trav Head also isn’t playing tonight. Considering we have Stoinis and Short I’m not sure 5 bowlers is really necessary but I think that’s what they’ll do.

    • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:10am
      Basil said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Nice work Ronan. I agree with what you say.
      The thing is, egos must be swallowed for that line up to eventuate.

    • Columnist

      February 3rd 2018 @ 9:31am
      Ronan O'Connell said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Since I submitted this Finch has been ruled out and Head is back into the squad so I’d go with this top six:

      1. Lynn
      2. Short
      3. Head
      4. Warner
      5. Maxwell
      6. Stoinis

      Head is a much better batsman, both in T20s and ODIs, when the ball is harder and he can start against the quicks, he needs to bat as early as possible, rather than coming in later when there could be two spinners bowling at him from the get go.

      The same goes for Lynn and Short – you want them starting against pace if possible, and with the field up. Whereas Warner, Maxwell and Stoinis are all more comfortable starting against spin so keep them lower down.

      Cricinfo is predicting Lynn will bat at 5, I think that would be a serious mistake. He is twice the batsman against pace as against spin, and NZ have two quality spinners. Let Warner and Maxwell bat in the middle order, they love facing spin in T20s.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:48am
        BurgyGreen said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        I just read that Warner has said that he will open. A mistake but not an unexpected one. You’re right about Lynn, he’s a top 3 batsman for sure, both because of his slight weakness against spin and to give him the chance to do maximum damage. Seeing him at 5 would be a joke.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 2:55pm
          Basil said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          Like I said, egos must be swallowed for that line up to eventuate.

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:21am
        Paul said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        Ronan, it would be nice to keep the same players for all of these games and simply change the lineups. As you’ve correctly pointed out, Warner wold be serving the team better by batting down the order, so hopefully he’ll do so after today.

        On paper, this is a very strong side. Hopefully they’ll produce a win

      • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:43pm
        13th Man said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        Lynn has to open or bat 3, preferably opening. I honestly see the possibility of Australia going in with 5 frontline bowlers tonight and batting Agar and Dwarshius at 7 and 8 who are both decent bats.

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 3:58pm
          Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

          I still don’t get what Lynn has done to be spoken of as such a fixture. Agar has batted better this BBL.

          There’s a myth around Lynn. Sure he looks good when he comes off but so do Dan Christian, Nic Maddinson and Marcus Harris. That 3 do it more consistently than Lynn…and they are very inconsistent.

          • February 3rd 2018 @ 5:03pm
            BurgyGreen said | February 3rd 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

            Come on, you’ve got to give Lynn some credit. 300+ runs in two consecutive seasons is pretty consistent, and an overall average of 37 at a strike rate of nearly 150 is very impressive. He’s far better than Maddinson or Christian or Harris. Only injury has let him down.

            • February 3rd 2018 @ 7:35pm
              shirtpants said | February 3rd 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

              Yeah agree with all that.
              Lynn: 3rd highest BBL run scorer, most 6’s, averaged 154 last year and 37 this year (and i do remember him getting a dodgy dismissal in either his first or second game) 2 x player of the tournament awards for the aforementioned seasons, 158 strike rate, $1.86 million IPL contract…

              Who’s keeping him out of any side?

            • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:24pm
              Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

              He only scored 150 runs this season. By all means, pick him last season but not BBL07. Just run of the mill.

            • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:34pm
              Rob said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

              Don, you constantly give out the injury excuse when talking about the Marsh boys or losses on the score board. I’m very sure the only thing that has stopped Lynn from being more successful is injury. He would absolutely leave the Marsh boys in the shade playing all formats.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 8:45pm
                Don Freo said | February 3rd 2018 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

                How is that an excuse? That is just an outline as to why WA cricket is in good shape.

                How about trying to explain why you have a contrary view. Tell me which of those players are no good and why they won’t enrich WA cricket when they return. As for the Marshes, I didn’t even mention them…but there’s them too.

                Add to that Cameron Green, maybe the most exciting young cricket talent in Australia and you have a full cricket team.

                By all means Rob, blindly knock everything West Australian but at least make a case as to why you think these players are failures.

              • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:36pm
                Rob said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

                Don, what players are you talking about? You said ” Dan Christian, Nic Maddinson and Marcus Harris. That 3 do it more consistently than Lynn…and they are very inconsistent.” That’s bezar you named a WA boy that plays for Victoria and 2 are from NSW?
                Every State has produced good cricketing talent from time to time. Western Australia have a good system with passionate coaches. I’m a one eyed (QLD) support but your garbage about WA being the best is ridicules.

              • February 4th 2018 @ 5:59am
                Don Freo said | February 4th 2018 @ 5:59am | ! Report

                ‘Bezar’ you say?

                What on earth are you talking about? NSW? WA?

                You are now seemingly arguing with your own misunderstandings.

                You referred to ‘excuses’.

          • February 4th 2018 @ 2:31am
            Ben Brown said | February 4th 2018 @ 2:31am | ! Report

            Don, shut your putrid delusional mouth.

            • February 4th 2018 @ 10:09am
              Don Freo said | February 4th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

              Have we learned a new word, Ben?

              You still haven’t worked out what this site is for, have you? I get that you might be lonely and bored but this approach is probably not going to help you.

    • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:44am
      BurgyGreen said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Finch has been ruled out of tonight’s match, right? Which makes it very strange that they decided to release Head, and only Head, for the BBL semis – he’s the only reserve batsman in the squad! My feeling is that they plan to play Agar somewhere in the top 7 to give them an (unnecessary) extra bowler.

      I have a little bit of an issue with an opening pair of Lynn and Short, as both of them slow down drastically against spin. I’d consider opening with Finch (when fit) or Maxwell and sending Lynn to first drop.

      My side without Finch:

      1. Short
      2. Maxwell
      3. Lynn
      4. Warner
      5. Head
      6. Stoinis
      7. Carey
      8. Agar
      9. Tye
      10. Zampa
      11. Stanlake

    • February 3rd 2018 @ 9:57am
      Alan Tickle said | February 3rd 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      The Australian selectors performance in selecting White in one dayers is bewildering.

      Years ago David Warner was selected in tests when there was confidence his game has developed beyond the short form.

      The same could be said of Aaron Finch who to me is the answer to partner Warner in the year team.

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