Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch says the top job in the 50-over format was not on his mind as Australia’s selectors named Tim Paine temporary ODI skipper for the upcoming series against England.
With Steve Smith and David Warner suspended for 12 months for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, Australia’s selectors were forced to name a new one-day and T20 international captain, with Finch touted as the hot favourite to take the reins of both teams.
Instead, the selectors appointed Test captain Paine as interim ODI skipper on Tuesday for next month’s five-match Qantas Tour of England, with Finch appointed the Tasmanian’s deputy and captain of the 20-over side.
While Paine said yesterday he wants to remain in the ODI role for as long as possible with an eye on next year’s World Cup in England, Finch said he is focused first and foremost on scoring runs and helping develop Australia’s inexperienced crop of players.
“I hadn’t really ever thought about it,” Finch told cricket.com.au when asked if he wanted to be ODI captain.
“Nobody could foresee the position that Australian cricket is in now.
“It’s an interim position and I’m not exactly sure which way they’re going to look or what the long-term plan is going to be leading into the World Cup.
“It’s just being about the senior player, contributing as much as you can on and off the field to help the team grow, help young guys develop their game at international level. All senior plays play that role at some point.
“There’s not a real lot you can do if you’re not in the side.”
The ODI series against England will be the first under new coach Justin Langer, who, like Paine, has performed the role in an interim basis in the past while his predecessor Darren Lehmann was rested.
Langer was in charge of Australia’s ODI team that won a tri-series against West Indies and South Africa in the Caribbean in June 2016 and then at the back end of the 2017 home summer with the T20I side against Sri Lanka that the hosts lost 2-1.
Finch featured in those series with Langer and gave a glimpse of what he expects in the Western Australian’s first tour at the helm.
“He knows the game inside out, he’s had a lot of success as a coach,” Finch said.
“The times I’ve worked with him we’ve worked well together and really looking forward to it again.
“I don’t see things changing a hell of a lot. I think it will be very well structured.
“He said he’s pretty comfortable to sit back and observe and take it all in for the first tour and then start to implement some changes he wants to see.”
Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe
ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas Tour of England
June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)
June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's
June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)
June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff
June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)
June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final