“If there is rain around and the game is shortened, that can dictate what you do with your team” Aaron Finch
The possibility of a rain-shortened game for Australia’s T20 World Cup opener could see the hosts tweak their side, but captain Aaron Finch remained confident in their preferred XI
Aaron Finch: With their team tinkering behind them, Australia are expected to take the XI identified weeks out from the World Cup into Saturday’s tournament opener against New Zealand.
Sydney’s ever-threatening skies are the only possible factor in disrupting those plans, which looks set to see Tim David replace Steve Smith as the only change from the side that took out the T20 title last year.
A rain-affected encounter for the rematch of the final in the UAE last November could see the reigning champions consider drafting in an extra bowling option in Ashton Agar.
But Australia’s captain Aaron Finch suggested a more likely reaction to a shorter match would be to shuffle the batting order of their preferred side.
If there is rain around and the game is shortened, that can dictate what you do with your team. But we’re really confident that all the stuff we’ve done in the lead up to this that there’s enough bases we can cover with our squad,” Finch told reporters.
Cameron Green, who flew in from Perth on Friday to replace Josh Inglis in the squad after the wicketkeeper’s unfortunate golfing mishap, will not be considered.
Our coach (Gary Stead) knows Stephen and he was keen to come along,” said Williamson, whose spin options this tournament are Ish Sodhi, Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner.
“We’ve got a number of spinners in our group who were keen to have a bit of a chat. He knows these conditions as well as anybody.
“It was nice to have a chat with a very experienced spinner in this format.”
We’ve got the option of playing an extra allrounder in Cam (during the tournament) which won’t happen (on Saturday) because he’s flying in this morning.
“Ashton Agar is there … I think it just comes down to what we think is the best match-up for New Zealand but also focusing on ourselves and giving ourselves the best chance of being successful.”
Finch suggested the SCG surface, which he had only gotten a brief glimpse at, was “on the drier side” despite the New South Wales’ capital’s recent wet weather.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was still yet to see the pitch on match eve, with the team only arriving in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon.
Thunderstorms are forecast for Saturday evening but the ground has proven resilient to inclement weather in the past.
Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa