Ahead of Australia’s full-fledged five-match T20I series against New Zealand, skipper Aaron Finch has confirmed that Josh Phillippe would make his debut at the top of the order. Finch also confirmed that the top-order setup would be the trio of Finch, Matthew Wade and Philippe himself.
During the last two years, Josh Philippe has not just banged at the door but also broke it to force a place in the Australian squad for the five-match T20I series against New Zealand, which begins later this month. The Sydney Sixers’ star fellow narrowly short behind teammate James Vince and Thunder’s Alex Hales on the list of top run-scorers, with 508 runs this season. While he found a place for himself in the squad for the England tour, he never made his debut during the series.
However, this time around, against New Zealand, barring any last-minute hiccups, Australian skipper Aaron Finch has confirmed that Josh Philippe would make his debut for the Kangaroos at the top of the order. Alongside that, he also insisted that the top three would be Matthew Wade, Philippe and himself.
"The top three will be Wade, Philippe and myself. Maxi (Maxwell) and Stoin (Stoinis), four and five, around that area. It's pretty simple I'd imagine. When you look at the squad list, Josh Philippe has been in great nick and it's great to see him playing well,” Finch said, reported Cricbuzz.
“Matty Wade, we know how dynamic he is along with Maxi. We're going to be flexible with that top order as well. If that means Wadey or myself or Josh, whoever bats at three, it'll be a great opportunity," he added.
Finch, who was also Philippe’s teammate during the pair’s stint in the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), stated that he’s got all the shots needed. He also insisted that Philippe has taken his game to another level, which has helped him in this edition of the BBL.
"He's someone who has obviously got all the shots but he's starting to get to that point of his career - and I think a lot of that was on the back of having a couple of months of IPL where he spent a lot of time with AB (de Villers) and Virat (Kohli) talking about batting with myself (as well) - he's taken his game to a new level because he's just getting past that period when he's not hitting them well.”
While he not only admired the right-hander’s ability to take the attack to the opposition, he also was of high praise of the youngster taking his time during tough situations.
"When he's playing well it's lights out, it's brilliant. But just those days when he's not feeling 100 per cent, he's getting through that little danger period and still having a big impact on the game which I think is so important in T20."