AUS vs NZ: Australia, New Zealand sweat on batting form of skippers ahead of T20 World Cup
AUS vs NZ: With Aaron Finch and Kane Williamson both struggling with the bat in recent games, Australia and New Zealand are worried about the performance of their captains going into the T20 World Cup.
The Australians established a commanding 2-0 lead in the one-day series between the neighbours that is being played in Cairns on Thursday, but their skipper issue appears to be more severe.
Finch failed to score for the fifth time in 13 one-day innings this year as he made a second ball duck in the 113-run triumph.
Australia’s T20 World Cup hosts must be concerned if one of their opening batters goes on a run drought when their title defence begins against the Black Caps in Sydney on October 22.
Adam Zampa, a spinner who claimed a first-ever ODI five-wicket haul in the triumph on Thursday, claimed there were mitigating circumstances.
“It’s tough (but) we’re backing him to get through it,” he told reporters.
“Obviously, we have the bigger goal in mind and that’s to win trophies. We’re all kind of working through different things to make sure we’re at our best for the World Cup.
“The conditions here have been particularly tough going for the top order … it was really hard to score. I don’t think to single Finchy out at the moment is quite fair.”
Finch didn’t get many runs on Thursday, but he still managed to take three catches. And captain the team admirably as they successfully held off an attack of 196.
“There’s never been any doubts about Finchy’s leadership,” Zampa added. “He’s really calm out there and his decision-making has been excellent.”
Even if their batting efforts may depend more on their captain Kane Williamson. New Zealand won’t be as concerned about him.
Williamson, who batting at position three. He managed just 17 runs off of 58 deliveries before caught lbw by a Zampa full toss.
The top order batsman has had a difficult time regaining the dominant form he had before to having to take a long absence from the game last year due to an elbow injury.
“I think everyone remembers immediately pre his elbow injury. When he in the richest vein of form that perhaps some players have ever been in,” said coach Gary Stead.
“Look, Kane is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen on his game. And he continues to be, I’m sure for him, there’s a big score that’s just around the corner.”