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Finch injury raises captaincy questions

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4th December, 2020

Australia could face a captaincy conundrum with Aaron Finch set for scans on an injured upper leg ahead of the second Twenty20 at the SCG.

Finch battled a hip and glute problem in Friday night’s series-opening loss to India at Manuka Oval, after being hurt while in the field.

He still opened in Australia’s chase but appeared in some discomfort, and at one stage required attention from medical staff in his 35 off 26 balls.

“It was a bit of a hip or glute (problem),” Finch said.

“We’ll wait and see after the game. It progressively got worse during the game. I am sure I will get a scan tomorrow and see how we go.”

If Finch is out, selectors will have to mull over a serious decision when it comes to his replacement as captain.

Australian cricketer Aaron Finch

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Only one other man in Australia’s squad has captained the country in any format, and that is Steve Smith.

However, while the former skipper is eligible to return to the captaincy, he has not been given any formal leadership position in a team since the ball-tampering saga.


Regular vice-captain Pat Cummins is being rested for the Twenty20 series, while Matthew Wade had that title on Friday night.

Alex Carey has previously been a vice-captain alongside Cummins, but was not selected on Friday. There is, however, every chance he could open if Finch is out.

Josh Hazlewood could be another alternative, having once held a vice-captaincy role back in the 2018-19 summer.

Glenn Maxwell and even Moises Henriques would be the possible options, with experience captaining at Big Bash level.

Meanwhile, India will be without Ravindra Jadeja for the rest of the T20 series, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirming in a statement that the all-rounder had sustained a concussion “when hit on the left side of his forehead in the final over of India’s innings.”


“Jadeja remains under observation and will be taken for further scans if required based on the assessment on Saturday morning. He will not take any further part in the ongoing T20I series,” the statement added.

Shardul Thakur will replace Jadeja for the two remaining games.

Australia, though, continued to have questions over concussion substitutes following the loss in Canberra.

India subbed out Jadeja after he top-edged a Mitchell Starc ball into his helmet late in his unbeaten 44 from just 23 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja

(Photo by Ryan Pierse – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

The spinning all-rounder was already limping with a hamstring injury, but the concussion saw him replaced by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. Chalal then went on to take 3-25, including the key scalps of Finch and Steve Smith and claimed man-of-the-match honours.

Australia’s coach Justin Langer clashed with match referee and former Test teammate David Boon when the replacement player was explained.

While it had initially been thought the question was over Jadeja’s initial fitness, Australia’s real issue was whether Chalal was a like-for-like player.


While both Jadeja and he bowl spin, Australia’s all-rounder Henriques pointed out Chalal would have batted at around number 11 if he was in India’s side originally.

“There’s no doubt he got a knock on the head from my point of view,” Henriques said.

“Whether it was a like-for-like replacement – that’s the question we’d like to see.

“One (Jadeja) is an all-rounder and a gun fielder, and the other is an out-and-out bowler who bats 11.”