Finch under fire with Aussies in Dunedin

·2-min read

Aaron Finch will be backed in to regain his scoring touch during Australia's tour of New Zealand, with stand-in coach Andrew McDonald pledging the skipper is safe through to the T20 World Cup.

Finch was out of nick through the BBL and failed again with the bat in Australia's opening T20 clash against the Black Caps on Monday.

His next opportunity comes at Dunedin's University of Otago Oval on Thursday afternoon (midday AEDT) in the second match of the five-game series.

The Australian men's side hasn't played in the South Island town for 21 years.

On their previous outing, an ODI at the now defunct Carisbrook in 2000, Brett Lee enraged the crowd by striking Adam Parore in the helmet with a vicious bouncer.

Batting without the strap on, the wicketkeeper's loose helmet fell onto the stumps and the Kiwi was out hit wicket.

After the infamous incident, Australia cruised to an easy series victories in ODIs and Tests.

This time though the visitors find themselves under pressure.

Australia were nowhere near their best in their heavy 53-run loss in Christchurch.

"Clearly we've got some improvement to make so we're looking forward to the opportunity," McDonald said.

The one with most to improve, given his lofty record in short-form cricket, is Finch.

The 34-year-old hasn't made a score of 20 or more in his past 10 innings and missed out in the Indian Premier League auction last Thursday.

Finch, who has played in the IPL for 10 of the past 11 seasons, said he was disappointed with the snub.

On Monday night, he was unlucky to connect beautifully with an early delivery, only for it to fly to the overstretched hand of Devon Conway.

"He hasn't had the greatest patch but the last week of quarantine ... it was looking optimistic that he would return to form," McDonald said.

"His first big shot in the T20 game, he clunked it and got caught at backward point.

"That can happen. But you don't want to fear getting out in this game."

Prior to the series, McDonald said Australia were likely to make changes to their XI to evaluate different options leading in to October's T20 World Cup.

The former Test allrounder - standing in for regular coach Justin Langer in New Zealand - was dismissive that Finch might spend a match in the stands, saying blankly "I wouldn't have thought so".

"He's in the best T20 side and is obviously an incredible T20 cricketer," McDonald said.

"He's up there with the greats."

Other places in the side might be re-jigged.

"We're contemplating some changes," McDonald said.

"We'll assess that after training today, sit down with the selectors back home."