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Aaron Finch gives verdict in Steve Smith and David Warner’s inclusion for the ODIs against Pakistan

"I am not a hundred per cent sure on that."

David Warner
David Warner and Steven Smith of Australia shake hands. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Steve Smith and David Warner are eagerly waiting for their international cricket bans of one year each to end on March 29, 2019, so that they can don the yellow jersey of Australia one more time. The duo was banned from cricket due to their involvement in the ball tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.

Despite claiming innocence initially, the duo admitted to their wrongdoings and the Cricket Australia findings revealed that David Warner was the mastermind and along with then skipper Steve Smith enticed Cameron Bancroft to use sandpaper on the ball, to change its condition and make it swing. Bancroft copped a nine-month ban, which ended in December 2018 and he made his comeback in the Big Bash League and has made a good splash in the Sheffield Shield as well.

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Steve Smith and David Warner were supposed to make their comebacks in the final two ODIs of the five-match series against Pakistan in UAE. However, captain Aaron Finch had made a damning revelation about the duo’s return to the Australian side.

Aaron Finch has almost made it certain that both Smith and Warner might not be part of the Australian team for the ODI series against Pakistan in UAE, with the fourth and fifth ODIs slated on March 29 and 31 respectively.

Smith and Warner are both recuperating from elbow injuries sustained in the Bangladesh Premier League. There are serious doubts on the duo playing the ICC World Cup 2019 as well, as Smith has just started batting in the nets and along with Warner, is expected to feature in the Indian Premier League, which starts on March 23.

“I don’t think David Warner or Steve Smith will play that game (March 29). I am not a hundred per cent sure on that but I don’t think they will play that last one or two games,” Finch said. When a reporter asked him whether he sees himself as a stand-in captain until the return of Steve Smith, Finch bluntly replied that he is the only captain.

Concerns about player’s workloads

Aaron Finch also talked about the workloads of the Australian players namely Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. Finch said, “He bowled a lot throughout the Australian summer, particularly at the back end of the India Test series. “I think having no cricket in April will help guys like Pat to freshen up. Again someone like (Mitchell) Starc, who has played no cricket needs to bowl. The workload of our fast bowlers need to be balanced.”

He also pointed out that playing 10 ODI matches in a month is quite taxing for his fast bowlers and there will be some clever mix and matching in bowling combinations to keep the bowlers fit and roaring to go. Aaron Finch also praised Ashton Turner, who is set to make his debut against India in the first ODI and called him an exciting prospect.

Finch said, “Ashton Turner is a guy who will be making his debut in ODI cricket. We have seen how destructive he can be in domestic cricket, so really excited to see him get a go in international cricket as he is such a smart player. He is a diverse player who can bat in top couple or down the order. He is game smart and manage situations. He will be an important player, someone I am very interested to see.”

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