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Lehmann calls for Finch move down order

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann says Aaron Finch should be given a chance as a middle order batsman in the Test squad.

Lehmann calls for Finch move down order

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann says Aaron Finch should be given a chance as a middle order batsman in the Test squad.

DARREN LEHMANN Australian coach looks on during the One Day International Series between Australia and England at MCG in Melbourne, Australia.
DARREN LEHMANN Australian coach looks on during the One Day International Series between Australia and England at MCG in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Former coach Darren Lehmann has called for Aaron Finch to be bumped down into Australia's middle order and for Usman Khawaja to replace him at the top for the Sydney Test.

Finch has averaged just 16.16 with the bat across the first three Tests against India, passing 50 just once in an underwhelming first series on home soil.


There have long been suggestions that Finch is not a natural at the top of the order in red-ball cricket, as evidenced by the fact he does not open for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield.

There have also been calls for his head leading into Thursday's Test, but Lehmann said he deserved to retain his spot in the team as part of a reshuffle that would see Khawaja open and Shaun Marsh bat No.3.

"My issue with Aaron Finch ... I don't think he should open," Lehmann said on Fox Cricket's coverage of the Big Bash League.

"But I think he should be playing and in the middle order. He needs an opportunity to play in the middle order and see what he can do.

"I would have him at No.5,."

The next month shapes as a crucial period in terms of selection for the Ashes.

Australia play two Tests against Sri Lanka following the final Test against India, - their last five-day hit outs before this winter's Ashes series.

Complicating the matter further is that Steve Smith and David Warner will both be available for coach Justin Langer on that tour, with opener Cameron Bancroft's suspension also now finished.

It's likely Finch will keep his spot in Australia's XI for Sydney, with the most likely change coming in the form of Marnus Labuschagne coming into the team for Mitch Marsh.

Both offer fifth-bowling options, however it's thought the usually spin-friendly SCG could be better suited to Labuschagne's legspinners.

"That's probably a tough call on Mitchell Marsh because he's only played the one game (since coming in for Peter Handscomb)," Lehmann said.

"But you need the spinning option and you need the three quicks to knock over the tail.

"The thing is, you have to get 20 wickets. That's what you have to do."

AAP


AAP




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