Aaron Finch has stated that Marnus Labuschagne, who struck a 51-ball 100 in an intra-squad warm-up game on Tuesday, might have to wait for his chance in T20s due to Australia having a ‘settled’ line-up. Finch has further revealed that both teams, unlike the Windies series, will not take a knee.
After nailing down his spots in Test and ODI cricket, Marnus Labuschagne took the first step towards becoming an all-format player, in the intra-squad warm-up match between ‘Finch XI’ and ‘Pat Cummins XI’ on Tuesday. Opening the batting for Finch XI, Labuschagne struck a wondrous 51-ball 100 - which included 15 boundaries - and instantly sent social media, particularly Australian fans, into a frenzy.
However, ahead of the Kangaroos’ first T20I versus England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday, skipper Aaron Finch has now suggested that Labuschagne, despite showcasing his mind-boggling hitting skills, might have to wait for his turn in T20 cricket. The skipper expressed satisfaction over the form of the Brisbane Heat star but insisted that the existing line-up is too strong for the Queenslander to break into.
"We're pretty settled with how we structure our T20 side at the moment. He played nicely the other day, but I think he might have to wait a little bit longer in T20 cricket,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"He's had an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and he hits the ball in the middle of the bat more often than most other players and hits the ball in the gaps so that's a pretty good recipe for T20 cricket and all cricket. He played beautifully the other day for a hundred, it was a great knock."
Labuschagne’s ton was not the only positive for the Aussies in the warm-up games, as the unofficial matches also saw the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis hit the ground running. While both Maxwell and Carey struck tons, Stoinis, meanwhile, registered multiple dominant fifty-plus scores. Finch expressed his delight over the form of his boys and claimed that he was really pleased with how the warm-ups panned out.
"It's been a really good hit out the last few days. Obviously, with Maxwell getting a hundred, Marnus, Alex Carey all getting hundreds in two different formats is really pleasing. Marcus Stoinis (who scored 87, 17 and 68 in three matches) has played really well at the top of the order. That’s been really pleasing with the bat.
"Josh Hazlewood (three wickets) has been outstanding with the ball across a few games. I think overall the quality of games has been fantastic so to have that really competitive hit out leading into the first T20 is really important."
Thus far this summer, England, alongside West Indies and Ireland, have taken a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement ahead of the commencement of tours but the Aussie skipper revealed that he held talks with his counterpart, Morgan, in which both captains mutually decided not to take a knee. Finch claimed that 'education is more important than a protest.'
"I've spoken to Eoin (Morgan, England captain) and we're not going to do a specific gesture like has happened in the past.
"We were really proud to play a game where it's celebrated all over the world and anyone can play it – it doesn't matter what race, what religion, what nationality – cricket is the game for everyone and I'm really proud about that. The education around this is more important than a protest,” Finch concluded.
The first T20I between England and Australia will be played at the Ageas Bowl on Friday, September 4.