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Finch faces another selection showdown

Cricket

Aaron Finch isn’t vexed as he prepares for another perplexing selection showdown at the top of Australia’s batting order.

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Finch, Usman Khawaja and David Warner are all part of the 16-man squad that has assembled in Guyana for an ODI tri-series that also features West Indies and South Africa.

The trio are all natural openers.

All three have strong claims and a strong preference to open the batting in Australia’s series opener, which starts at 2.30am ACST on Monday.

A similar debate unfolded during this year’s World Twenty20, when a fourth potential opener Shane Watson made it even trickier for selectors.

But the absence of Watson won’t ease the pressure on Finch, who hasn’t played an ODI since tearing his hamstring in January.

“Any time you get injured it gives someone else an opportunity to get a look in at your spot,” Finch said in Georgetown.

“It’s always tough. Uzzy has come in and played very well, every opportunity he has had.

“Whoever gets the nod is going to be under pressure to perform well, because there are guys here to fill every spot in the side.”

Finch and Warner have been Australia’s first-choice opening combo since 2014 and helped steer their side to World Cup success in 2015.

But leaving Khawaja out of the team would be a bold call given the 29-year-old’s strong form in all three formats this year.

Justin Langer, who is coaching Australia during this month’s series, has floated the prospect of all three playing in the same XI.

“If not, carry the drinks and mix them well until your opportunity comes and I’m sure that it will at some point throughout the tour,” Finch said.

Khawaja spent three years in the ODI wilderness prior to earning a call-up for this year’s tour of New Zealand.

The left-hander totalled 94 runs from two digs during that series in February.

“I love opening but I know Finchy and Davey have been doing it for a while,” Khawaja said.

“I understand that .. I love batting, so anywhere in the top order would be nice.”

Finch showcased his versatility during the recently-completed Indian Premier League, when he dropped down Gujarat’s order.

“It was a really interesting challenge. You’re in a different situation every game,” the Victorian said.

“It was just totally different to opening the batting but I really enjoyed it … if I have to do it again I’ll be more than happy.”

Heavy rain forced Australia to cancel Wednesday’s training session, denying Finch and his teammates a chance to impress Langer and on-duty selector Trevor Hohns.

Further showers are predicted in Guyana this week but Finch was upbeat the touring party would be ready for the 50-over tournament.

“It’d be ideal to get out there and have a hit and assess the local conditions but if not, there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.

-AAP

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