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Finch to lead Australia in T20 series against Sri Lanka

Australian batsman Aaron Finch prepares to hit the ball for six runs during his Cricket World Cup semi-final match against India in Sydney, March 26, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

Melbourne [Australia]: Explosive opening batsman Aaron Finch has been named as Australia’s captain for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, beginning February 17.

Finch will captain the side as regular skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner would be a part of the squad travelling to India for the four-match Test series.

The remainder of Australia’s T20 squad will be named on Wednesday morning, and it is expected that there will be plenty of space for fresh faces due to the timing clash with India Tour.

Cricket Australia Interim national selector Trevor Hohns said that in the absence of Smith and Warner amongst others, Finch was the logical choice to lead the side.

“He’s (Finch) done it before and he has a great deal of experience in the format as both a captain and a batsman,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Hohns as saying.

“When the squad is selected for this series we, as selectors, will obviously have one eye on the present and also one eye on the future, with the next ICC World Twenty20 scheduled to take place in Australia.”

“The KFC Big Bash League has given us the opportunity to see plenty of exciting talent and it means we will have plenty to consider when we chose the players to join Aaron in the squad,” he added.

Meanwhile, the explosive right-handed opener, who also led Australia in Chappell-Hadlee ODI series opener against New Zealand in Auckland after stand-in skipper Matthew Wade was a late withdrawal due to injury, said it would be exciting for him to lead the side in Smith’s absence.

“It’s been a rollercoaster from being captain leading up to the ICC World Twenty20 (in 2016), being injured and then Steve taking over the reins for that tournament but it’s something that, any time you get the chance to captain your country in any format, you’re very chuffed about,” he said.

“We’ll be missing some big names, some of the biggest in world cricket, but you can’t dwell on that and it will be a fantastic opportunity for guys who’ve performed well in the KFC Big Bash League to push their case for further inclusion, and inclusion in the other formats too,” he added.

Besides Smith and Warner, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh are among the players who will unavailable for the T20 series because of them preparing for the Test series.

The T20 series, which begins at the MCG on February 17 will be followed by games at the Shell Stadium in Geelong (February 19) and Adelaide Oval (February 22). (ANI)