Finch expects spinners to shine at T20 WC
Australia captain Aaron Finch expects spin to play a major role in deciding who reigns supreme at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup later this year.
Spin was pivotal in helping Australia claim the T20 World Cup in Dubai last year, with experienced leg-spinner Adam Zampa finishing the tournament as the equal second leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps from seven matches.
While some of the pitches in Australia are more renowned for their bounce and movement off the pitch, Finch suggests spin will be just as important at this year's tournament in Australia.
Speaking at the launch of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Trophy Tour in Melbourne on Friday, Finch said good spinners around the world will be crucial at this year's edition of the 20-over showcase.
"Spin is always going to have an impact in T20 cricket especially on bigger grounds in Australia," Finch said as part of the celebrations to mark 100 days until the commencement of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.
"Here you have got to hit it a way to get it to the boundary so I think spin will play a big part, especially in the middle overs.
"Wickets in middle overs are going to be crucial as well.
"All the stats suggest, if you are two down going into the final five overs it doesn't matter who is bowling. You could have the best (bowler) of all time they are still going to cop some pain."
One bowler who can be relied upon to keep the scoring rate low at the backend of an innings is Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood, who now occupies top spot on the ICC T20 Bowler rankings.
It's been a dramatic recent transformation for Hazlewood, who has dominated the shortest format of the game over the last couple of years after he didn't play any T20 cricket for Australia for a period greater than four years.
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While the upsurge has surprised many, Finch said Hazlewood's promotion to the top echelon of T20 seam bowlers has not shocked him.
"He has always had the skill," Finch noted.
"For such a long time his focus was just on Test cricket and he didn't have a proper block of training to concentrate on T20 cricket.
"I think he got that in the lead-up to the last World Cup, while playing all 14 games for Chennai (Super Kings) plus a couple of finals in the IPL (also helped).
"His ability to upskill so quickly is not a surprise as he is highly skilled.
"How consistent he is and how efficient in all conditions has been remarkable, but not surprising."
Finch suggested Australia will use many of the tactics that brought them success at last year's tournament, with the veteran right-hander set to continue his long-standing partnership with David Warner at the top of the order.
The Australia skipper did suggest his team may use their bevy of warm-up fixtures to experiment with a few fresh ideas, which includes a possible first T20 cap for star all-rounder Tim David.
While David was born in Singapore, the 26-year-old is unlikely to feature for his country of birth during the upcoming Qualifier B for the T20 World Cup and could earn a call-up to Australia's squad for their tour of India in September.
"That time (a debut) will come for Tim," Finch said.
"He is such a valuable asset. Guys with that power, bowl a few overs and are good in the field, he will slot into a lot of T20 sides.
"There are going to be opportunities there, especially with the amount of cricket that is going to be played over the next three months until that World Cup starts."