Australia’s One Day Internationals “player of the series”, Aaron Finch, has been dumped from Victoria’s Sheffield Shield team.
Finch was flying high a few weeks ago, smashing 121 at the MCG against England and becoming the first Australian to make a one-day ton at the hallowed ground.
But when Victoria takes the field at Adelaide Oval today, Finch will still be in Melbourne.
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Finch and emerging spinner James Muirhead must fix fundamental flaws to regain their spots in the Victorian team, coach Greg Shipperd says.
Fellow short-form internationals Clint McKay and Dan Christian were also dropped in a blunt response by Shipperd to four consecutive Shield losses.
Finch – a big hitter who loves to attack – hasn’t been able to transfer that form into the Shield, where he averages 14.8 this season.
“It’s an intriguing question, both for the coaching staff and for Aaron,” Shipperd told reporters in Adelaide.
“He’s a supremely confident player in the shorter forms of the game but we all know that it’s a different environment out there in first-class cricket.
“Aaron still needs to continue to work on his defensive skills, on clearing and clarifying his game plan.”
Shipperd said Finch’s problems were both technical and mental.
“Defensively we want him to smooth out some of his movements,” he said.
“But we know he’s an attacking player, and so it is then about knowing when to apply those attacking skills in four-day cricket.
“It’s a tricky balance to find and he’s still searching for it.”
Muirhead, a 20-year-old spinner who has played three first-class games – and the same number as Twenty20 internationals – has similar problems.
“It’s a little bit like Aaron’s situation – a different environment, different wickets, different batting intent and different circumstances,” Shipperd said of the spinner who took 0-61 from seven overs in last week’s Shield game against NSW.
“He’s a player of the future that needs to be carefully managed.”
SA are equal top with NSW on 24 points entering the clash against the last-placed Bushrangers (eight points).
South Australia: Johan Botha (capt), Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Michael Klinger, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Sam Raphael, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Adam Zampa (12th man to be named)
Victoria: Matthew Wade (capt), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, John Hastings, Michael Hill, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Rob Quiney, Jake Reed, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron White (12th man to be named)
Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey will be rested from Sheffield Shield action as he prepares for the short form’s World Cup.
Bailey has been left out of Tasmania’s side for the Shield clash with Queensland beginning at Bellerive on Thursday on the orders of Cricket Australia, and won’t play for the Tigers again this season.
The 31-year-old played five Tests, four one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals against England this summer and has battled a hip flexor strain.
“I would have loved him to play but I totally understand where he’s at at the moment,” Tasmania coach Dan Marsh told reporters in Hobart.
“He’s hobbling around and he needs a rest before the T20 World Cup.”
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