Damning reality of costly Finch flops
It may have been his birthday but Aaron Finch didn't feel like celebrating after his white ball slump continued in Australia's 21-run loss to South Africa in a rain-affected Twenty20 international.
Captain Finch won't have happy memories of turning 32 after being dismissed for just seven as Australia were restricted to 7/87 in reply to the Proteas' 6/108 in a 10-overs-a-side clash on the Gold Coast.
Finch admitted before the Metricon Stadium clash that batting technique changes made for his recent Test debut had affected his shorter format form. The burly opener failed again on Saturday night but was unlucky, bowled by a Lungi Ngidi (2-16) delivery that kept low.
However, it was another white ball failure for Finch who made just 59 runs at 19 in Australia's 2-1 one-day series loss to the Proteas.
And it was not a good look for the national one-day and T20 captain who has backed himself to succeed in all three formats. Last night's effort continued a horror run for Finch in white ball cricket, which has seen him reach double figures only twice in his past eight innings.
Teammate Glenn Maxwell could empathise with Finch but backed his skipper to bounce back in Australia's next assignment - a three-match T20 series against India starting on Wednesday.
"I can understand his frustration. You try and change for one format and then another sometimes falls off," said Maxwell, who took 1-14 and top scored with 38 for Australia on Saturday night.
"I certainly noticed that … when I started getting better at four-day cricket, my one-day cricket was hopeless.
"You are giving and taking parts of your game. But I haven't really noticed that much with Finchy. He got a grubber, he was a bit unlucky. I think he will be right."
Finch will need to find some touch in the T20 series against India starting in Brisbane with the summer's Test program also on the horizon. He will get only one Sheffield Shield game for Victoria - against Queensland from November 27 - to stake a claim ahead of Australia's first Test against India in Adelaide next month.
And Finch is no guarantee of even opening for the Bushrangers in the Shield clash against the Bulls after usually being relegated to their middle order. Finch enjoyed a successful Test debut, averaging 45.25 in Australia's ill-fated series against Pakistan in UAE last month before his white ball form fell away.