Finch goes in to bat for under-fire Langer

David Charlesworth
·3-min read

Australia ODI captain Aaron Finch says reports of Justin Langer's coaching style causing dressing-room unrest have been overblown.

Langer's position as Australia head coach has come under scrutiny after a shock defeat at home to India, who secured a famous 2-1 Test series win last month following an engrossing battle between the nations.

Reports in Australia have claimed Langer's intensity has led to discontent among some players.

Finch has been not been a part of the Test set-up for the last couple of years so has been loosely following events from a distance, but believes these complaints may have been exaggerated because of Australia's recent defeat.

He told the PA news agency: "Any time the team loses there's always going to be things like that come out.

"Whether they're true or not, when you win that kind of stuff never comes out and I think journalists, a lot of time, throw darts in the air and see where they land.

"I wasn't there, so it's hard for me to really comment on it."

Finch is currently enjoying a brief break away from the game, having been in some form of controlled environment for a number of months as he has juggled international and domestic Twenty20 franchise commitments.

His form dipped alarmingly in the Big Bash League as he struck just 179 runs at 13.76 from 13 innings for Melbourne Renegades, but insists he will be ready for Australia's Twenty20 tour of New Zealand, which starts this month.

"From March through to now, it's been a lockdown or a hub. The break is really just a chance to recharge and switch off from the game and make sure you really do recharge as much as you can," said Finch.

"It can consume you quite a bit without you knowing a lot of the time. You tend to be always on; thinking cricket or talking cricket.

"It's great to put the kit-bag away for 10 days before we head to New Zealand and just put my feet up and recharge. Once we hit the ground in New Zealand I'll be keen as mustard to get back into it."

Australia have rested the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc for the five-match series against the Black Caps, which starts on February 22 at Christchurch.

Teenage leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha, who has not yet made his first-class or List A debut, and uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe are among a relatively inexperienced travelling party.

Finch is looking forward to seeing what they can do and added: "The New Zealand series is going to be really important. For some guys it will be their first tour, so it's going to be brilliant.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and doing that. T20 cricket for Australia is pretty cool and when you've got young guys where it's their first tour, hopefully we can make it a very special one for them."