Aaron Finch to lead Australia in Pakistan T20I series

Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch will continue as Australia’s Twenty20 International captain in the three-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

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Among the interesting announcements ahead of the three-match series, set for late October, are that Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey have been named joint vice-captains to Finch, and Ben McDermott, the 23-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has been called up.

Much like Australia have done with the Test squad, where Marsh and Josh Hazlewood have been named Tim Paine’s deputies, the T20I side will also have two deputies to Finch now.

“They are outstanding young men and extremely talented cricketers. To be endorsed by their peers, and to then back it up with powerful presentations, just showcased their leadership qualities and vision for Australian cricket,” said Justin Langer, the Head Coach.

“Aaron has already captained Australia in the recent T20s we played in Zimbabwe, and I’ve been extremely impressed with his impact on the Test squad over here in the UAE. We know he’s an exceptional player, and he’s arguably the most in form T20 player in the world at the moment.

Nathan Coulter-Nile shown tremendous resilience and fight to get back into the form required to be selected in the Australian T20 side

“As we outlined when he was selected as joint Test vice-captain last week, Mitch has experience captaining Australia A and WA, and he’s an extremely popular member of the team. He’s a very talented and humble young man, who leads through his actions and shows genuine care for his teammates.

“Alex has great leadership qualities, and again we were really impressed with the way he presented to the interview panel. He already knows the role having held the vice-captaincy in the recent tour of Zimbabwe, and as a wicket keeper he has eyes behind the stumps which we believe is extremely beneficial to the team. He’s an elite professional who also backs up his words through his actions.”

‘Chris Lynn has responded well from his shoulder injury and was professional during his rehabilitation’ – Langer

The squad of 14 also includes Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short, and Chris Lynn as the main batsmen.

Lynn, whose career has been blighted by injuries, hasn’t played for Australia since February 2018, but has been in great touch for Queensland in the ongoing One-Day Cup.

“Chris Lynn has responded well from his shoulder injury and was professional during his rehabilitation,” said Langer. “He’s had an outstanding campaign in the JLT Cup to date and reminded us how explosive and powerful a cricketer he can be.”

Glenn Maxwell’s presence will add experience to the batting order

Also returning from injury is Nathan Coulter-Nile, the paceman, who will form a formidable fast-bowling attack with Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake, with Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar the frontline spinners.

“Nathan Coulter-Nile has done a terrific job to come back from injury,” said Langer. “He’s shown tremendous resilience and fight to get back into the form required to be selected in the Australian T20 side. He’s an excellent white ball bowler and provides us with another mature performer in the team.”

The new face in the mix is that of 23-year-old Queenslander McDermott, whose father Craig picked up 291 wickets in 71 Tests and 203 wickets in 138 one-day internationals between 1984 and 1996.

Ben McDermott is the new face in the squad

On the youngster, Langer said, “Ben McDermott is another young player who has been rewarded for taking his game to the next level. He’s put in the hard work to improve his strength and fitness, and there’s no doubt it’s been a key factor behind his impressive form in the JLT Cup. He’s performed well in the BBL, and he’s an outstanding young bloke.”

The series will start after the conclusion of the two-Test series in Abu Dhabi on 24 October, with games in Dubai to follow on 26 and 28 October.

Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Mitch Marsh (vc), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa