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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Watson wants Australia to stay loyal with T20 WC selection


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Dubai: Two-time ICC World Cup-winner Shane Watson is adamant Australia must stick with Aaron Finch as their captain for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and believes young all-rounder Cameron Green should only feature at the tournament if an injury occurs to a key player.

Finch has managed just two T20I innings of greater than 50 since last year’s ICC T20 World Cup and recently stepped down from his position as ODI captain and retired from the format in order to concentrate on the upcoming T20 tournament.

Watson believes Finch’s value to the team extends way beyond his runs at the top of the order and he thinks the veteran right-hander must remain in Australia’s first choice XI.

“Finch is such an incredibly important part of this Australian team being the captain,” Watson said on the latest episode of The ICC Review.

“He has been given the full support of the selectors and coach as well. So for me, everyone’s got their fingers crossed that it’s all able to click for him during this T20 World Cup because, firstly, it is such an important role that he plays in the Powerplay opening the batting and, secondly, as a leader, as the captain making decisions under pressure.

“It’s very important that there is no innuendo or pressure around him in terms of his position in the team … from an Australian point of view, I’ve got my fingers crossed that he will be fit and firing,” he said.

Watson is a huge fan of Green and has admired the emerging all-rounder for some time, but believes the 23-year-old should only feature at the T20 World Cup if injury strikes a key player prior to or during the event.

“The only time I think he should be coming into the squad is if someone gets injured or they don’t recover from their injury,” Watson noted.

“Marcus Stoinis, if he doesn’t recover fully from his injury or Mitchell Marsh for example, if they don’t recover from their niggles that they’ve had in the lead-up to this T20 World Cup, then absolutely (Green is) the first one picked.”

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