Aaron Finch insisted he would voluntarily sit out Australia’s must-win clash against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup if he felt his injury was undermining his side’s chances.
Captain Finch and middle-order ‘finisher’ Tim David suffered hamstring problems in the win over Ireland earlier this week and are doubts for Adelaide, where Australia finish their Super 12s group campaign.
Only the top two go through to the semi-finals and while Australia are currently level on points with New Zealand and England, the hosts and defending champions have a significantly inferior net-rate.
While he was optimistic about his and David’s prospects of being involved on Friday night, Finch was adamant he would not feature if he thought he was weakening Australia’s opportunity to win.
He said: “I’m very hopeful to play. Maybe 70/30 but I’ll test it out (at Thursday’s practice session) to make sure that I’m not hindering the side at all leading into the game.
“The worst possible scenario is that you leave the guys short out there with one player fewer. If I feel like it one per cent would be compromising the side’s performance, I won’t play.”
Finch revealed his and David’s scan results were very similar, adding: “He’s in exactly the same boat. He’ll get worked out and we’ll know more during training, I guess.
“The likelihood of both of us playing, one of us, neither of us, but (they are) exactly the same. You don’t want to compromise the team’s performance by having a guy go down who comes in with a niggle.”
— Andrew Ramsey (@ARamseyCricket) November 3, 2022
New Zealand are favourites to top the group if they overcome Ireland as their net run-rate is superior to that of England and Australia, who were beaten by the Kiwis by a thumping margin in their opener.
Australia therefore need a similarly emphatic victory over Afghanistan to attempt to leapfrog England, who have the benefit of playing against Sri Lanka on Saturday night knowing what is required of them.
But Finch stressed that Australia cannot be too aggressive about reeling in the net run-rate and ignore the main priority, which is to get the win.
He said: “The reality is that our first game has put us in this situation. We knew for the rest of the tournament it was going to come down to run-rate should things go well.
“But the last thing that you want to happen is you push too hard, compromise the two points and then potentially something happened in the Sri Lanka-England game and you leave yourself vulnerable.
“There’s obviously some scenarios there that we need to keep an eye on throughout the game, that if we get in a good position that we can maximise it.”