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Is burden of captaincy affecting Finch's form?

Last updated on: February 26, 2021 15:30 IST
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'He's arguably the best Twenty20 batter in the world over a long period of time. His record's so good and he's our captain, so maybe that's what's going on off-field but in our heads we just trust him'.

Aaron Finch scored one run in the opener of T20I series against New Zealand in Christchurch and 12 in Dunedin on Thursday. 

IMAGE: Aaron Finch scored one run in the T20I opener against New Zealand in Christchurch and 12 in Dunedin on Thursday. Photograph: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Aaron Finch's prolonged form slump has not changed the Australia captain's demeanour around the team in New Zealand and he deserves a "massive tick" for being able to put his struggles aside, fast bowler Kane Richardson said.

Australia's white ball captain Finch is under huge pressure to produce a score after bringing his poor form from the Big Bash League into the Twenty20 series.

He scored one run in the opener in Christchurch and 12 in Dunedin on Thursday as Australia fell 2-0 behind in the five-match series.

 

Richardson said Finch had not let his form affect his leadership.

"If you came into our camp today you wouldn't know that he's struggling for runs," Richardson told reporters on Friday.

"He hasn't changed how he is around the group with us, how he is on the field in terms of being captain and his plans.

"So that's a massive tick for him to not let his own form come into how he is away from cricket but also on the field.

"We just want to see him make some runs ... We all know how tough the game can be when you're not getting the output that you want."

With a raft of first-choice players left at home, Australia lost by four runs in Dunedin following their 53-run thrashing in Christchurch. The next game is in Wellington on March 3.

New Zealand piled on 219 for seven in Dunedin against a pace attack featuring Richardson, Jhye Richardson and rookie Daniel Sams.

Richardson said Jhye Richardson's return to international cricket after a major shoulder injury had been a bright spot but other bowlers had let the side down.

"As a bowling group, we've probably been outbowled these first two games," he said.

"He's definitely holding up his end of the bargain, but I think myself and a few others need to continue to back him up a bit better than what we have the first two."

Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis also came out in support of skipper Finch following the opening batsman dearth of runs in recent games.

Stoinis, who almost got Australia over the line with his sensational knock in the second T20I, voiced his support for the skipper citing the key role Finch can play in the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year.

"There's just full confidence that he's going to perform for us and, personally, all I can see is a long-term picture because come the World Cup, we need him firing," cricket.com.au quoted Stoinis as saying.

"He's arguably the best Twenty20 batter in the world over a long period of time. His record's so good and he's our captain, so maybe that's what's going on off-field but in our heads we just trust him," he added.

Stoinis highlighted how Finch didn't have a good Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year but wasn't short of runs when it came to scoring in ODIs against India.

"The same thing happened when he came back from IPL. He didn't have the IPL he wanted but then he came and made hundred after hundred in the one-dayers," said Stoinis.

"I think that's just the game of cricket, you've got to ride out these sorts of things and I think it's important that, as a team, he feels backed," he added.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021