Aaron Finch, Australia, IPL 2018
Aaron Finch © Getty Images

Steven Smith and David Warner may make it to Australia’s 2019 World Cup but who would lead them? With the duo being suspended of taking leadership roles for their participation in the ball-tampering saga, and with just over a year to the mega tournament, this is the question haunting Australian fans. Tim Paine, Australia’s 46th Test captain, is not a certainty in ODIs. Aaron Finch has tentatively put his hand up. Finch has led Australia in ODIs and T20Is, and also in mega tournaments like IPL.

“I’d definitely put my hand up for it but I haven’t thought about it to be honest,” Finch told cricket.com.au from Mohali, where he’s is representing Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in VIVO IPL 2018.

(Trivia: Finch became the first player to represent 7 IPL teams)

Paine is definitely in the mix but with Alex Carey given a contract, his place may not be assured at the moment, and also Cricket Australia (CA) may not overburden him. The other contenders could be Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head and Peter Handscomb – all three are captains of their state sides.

“It’s obviously a really difficult time and some changes are going to be made in the next couple of months with the England ODIs and the Dubai Tests (against Pakistan later this year). If the opportunity came up I’d love to take it but it’s not something that I’ve thought about,” added Finch.

Finch expressed his disappointment over the ball-tampering episode and believes Australia will be without two of their best players for the next one year. However, he sees the positives and called the team to deal with the blow with “positive spin” on the issue.

IPL 2018: Aaron Finch becomes first player to represent 7 teams
IPL 2018: Aaron Finch becomes first player to represent 7 teams

“You are taking two of the best players in the world out of out of the side … the only way you can deal with it is to put a real positive spin on it.  It’s obviously really unfortunate what’s happened, but there’s going to be a couple of spots open up and I’ve got no doubt the guys who are next in line can come in and do a fantastic job.

“It will give whoever is there a real opportunity to put their hand up and make sure they’re at the forefront of selectors’ minds when it is time for that World Cup,” Finch said before mentioning that the replacements should embrace this opportunity.

Credits Andrew McDonald

Finch was Australia’s full-time T20I captain in 2014 before being replaced with Smith ahead of 2016 World T20. He might win back the job again. Finch credited Victoria Bushrangers and Melbourne Renegades coach Andrew McDonald for improving his leadership.

“When I first started out I was little bit, just throw caution to the wind. You’d have your plans and sometimes they go out the window and you just have a gut feel. It’s great when it goes well (but) in time I’ve probably learnt to be a bit calmer out on the field, take a bit more of the planning that you have pre-game.

“Andrew McDonald, he’s been unbelievable. He’s probably the most thorough coach I’ve ever played under.

“He never leaves any stone unturned in terms of preparation and possible scenarios that will come up in games. He’s taught me a huge amount over the last couple of years in terms of captaincy and leadership in general,” Finch concluded.

The just-married Victorian did not have a great start to his IPL 2018. He was dismissed for a golden duck in his KXIP debut. His side will take on the mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.