Finch doubtful for Australia opener

Australia may have to turn to Hilton Cartwright or Travis Head after Aaron Finch pulled up in training ahead of first ODI with India.

The opener has been nursing the injury – which he sustained playing in England with Surrey – in recent weeks   -  Getty Images

In the steamy city of Chennai, the venue of the first One-Day International, the touring Australia side is now sweating over the fitness of one of its batting mainstays, that too, with just a couple of days before the series begins here.

Aaron Finch reached the Tamil Nadu capital last Friday evening, and even trained a bit two days later. But he was ruled out of the side’s warm-up match against the Board President’s XI with a calf muscle injury. While it was expected that the opener would be back in action before his team starts its campaign against India on Sunday, suddenly those chances look bleak.

Read: Dhawan to miss first three ODIs against Australia

With Finch missing from Thursday’s training session, it is now being speculated that he may eventually give the ODI a miss. Though there is no clarity on the issue yet, the Australian cricket press reports indicate this.

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Travis Head, too, hinted at being pushed upper in the batting slot, signalling the likelihood of Finch's absence. “Hopefully [there will be] the chance to go up the order again. Since I have come to the side, I feel confident. It was nice to get some time in the middle the other day,” Head said while addressing the scribes on Thursday.

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While Head is Australia’s first choice in the fourth slot, a promotion for him would mean the Aussies will have to field Glenn Maxwell or Marcus Stoinis to fill in the gap. However, all that would only happen once there is an official word on the issue. For now, the guessing game continues...