Aaron Finch did a really noble thing to step down from ODI leadership, format: Ricky Ponting

Dubai, Sep 19 (IANS) Former Australia skipper and two-time World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting applauded opener Aaron Finch for stepping down from the ODI leadership role as well as the format, calling it “a really noble thing”.

Since his debut in 2011, Finch played 146 ODIs for Australia, averaging 38.89 with the bat and his tally of 17 hundreds in ODIs is the third-most by any player from the country. But an average of just 12.42 in ODIs this year, including just one fifty, meant the writing was on the wall for Finch on his ODI future.

“I wasn’t surprised actually. I sort of personally felt that he was probably one game away or one failure away from getting dropped anyway. That’s how bad his last 12 months have been in one-day international cricket.”

“I think it was the right time. I actually thought it was really noble, what he said as well, that stepping down when he did, it gives the next captain a reasonable time leading in to get themselves and his team ready for the next World Cup.”

“I was afforded a similar thing as well when I took over the captaincy, and when I stood down and Michael Clarke took over, I was very aware of what was coming up. I wanted to give the next captain a very good run into the next big tournament that they played,” said Ponting on The ICC Review show.

Though Australia still have a long time to play in an ODI, who replaces Finch and partners with David Warner at the top of Australia’s batting order remains a query. Ponting suggested that Australia could have a look at Test mainstay Marnus Labuschagne, among others, as a possible left-field candidate to take the vacant ODI opening spot.

“We saw Josh Inglis play the last ODI game, opening the batting. Inglis went up there and Finch played his last game. There will be guys like Travis Head as well. (He is) a really underrated ODI player for Australia.”

“The last series he played for Australia, I think it was against Pakistan in UAE, he had an unbelievably good tournament there. He has played a fair bit for Australia in the past and opened, batted in the middle-order.”

“There will be Josh Phillipe, there will be other guys like that they’ll talk about as far as opening the batting is concerned. It could be even someone that’s actually in the team now. Marnus Labuschagne could do a good job opening the batting as well.”

“Obviously No.3 in Test cricket, he is used to facing the new red ball, which is more often than not does a bit more than the white ball. So it might be as simple as flipping him at the top of the order and they’ve still got Warner there, then they got the left hand-right hand combination that I was talking about.”

“When Mitchell Marsh comes back into that No.3 spot, probably Steve Smith can slide into Labuschagne’s spot at No.4. And all of a sudden, they look like they’ve got a good line-up going forward,” concluded Ponting.



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