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T20 the poor cousin in Australia's overlong summer schedule


Australian Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch says it will be difficult to build success in the short format as long as it remains at the bottom of the pecking order.

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Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc are among the stars who will miss Australia’s T20 series against Sri Lanka, starting tomorrow at the MCG, because of the upcoming Test tour of India.

With two-thirds of the squad missing from Australia’s last ICC T20 World campaign 10 months ago, selectors have turned to Ben Dunk, Michael Klinger, Billy Stanlake, Jyhe Richardson, Ashton Turner and Tim Paine.

Finch insists there will still be plenty at stake against Sri Lanka but says there should be a rethink of where T20 internationals fit in an already crowded summer schedule.

“I’d say out of the three (formats), T20 internationals would probably be the least prioritised until a World Cup year,” he said yesterday.

“I understand that but it also makes it difficult. You don’t play a real lot. I suppose it’s a fine line … how [much is] enough preparation to go into a world tournament and expect to be successful.

“I think if you’re tacking on one or two games to the end of each series, the summers just blow out and become too long in my opinion.

“At the end of the day you have to rest people and you have to give guys a chance to be at their best for Test cricket and one-day cricket.”

Finch said Australia had underperformed in T20 internationals and would be looking to give their emerging talent as much exposure as possible ahead of next year’s T20 World tournament.

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland on Monday conceded there could be similar fixturing issues in future years.

“There’s nothing ideal about the schedule,” he said.

“But at the same time… a number of players are getting well-earned opportunities to represent their country and put their hand up.

“And who knows, in two or three years time when we host the World T20 here in Australia they may well be the players that are walking out for Australia.”

The T20 series will move to Geelong on Sunday before finishing at Adelaide Oval on February 22.


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