Finch a contender for Aussie ODI captaincy

Coach Justin Langer says Australian skipper Aaron Finch was a standout in the Zimbabwe tri-series.
Coach Justin Langer says Australian skipper Aaron Finch was a standout in the Zimbabwe tri-series.

Aaron Finch could soon find himself as captain of Australia's one-day international team.

While Australia lost the Twenty20 tri-series final in Zimbabwe to Pakistan on Sunday, Finch's work as skipper during the tournament stood out to coach Justin Langer.

The Victorian starred with the bat, highlighted by his record-breaking 172 against the hosts, but also brought together an inexperienced team shell-shocked by a winless tour of England.

Langer admitted ODI skipper Tim Paine's future in the team was up in the air following Australia's 5-0 whitewash defeat to England.

When asked about Finch's potential to take over from the Tasmanian, Langer said the 31-year-old had made a strong case.

"He's done really well this series," Langer said in the post-match press conference.

"We've talked about it from the day I was appointed that after this tour we'll have a really close look at everything we're doing at the moment from our leadership, which is such an incredibly high priority in Australian cricket.

"Finchy's certainly put his best foot forward this series."

Finch has become one of the finest limited-overs openers in the world, averaging 38.19 in ODIs with 11 centuries.

On the other hand, Paine was appointed as temporary ODI skipper after he became Test captain following the ball-tampering scandal led to Steve Smith's 12-month ban.

Paine was serviceable during ODIs in January, which were his first for Australia since 2011.

But he had a horror stretch in England, scoring just 36 runs at an average of 7.20.

While there weren't as many wins as Australia would have liked in England and Zimbabwe, Langer believed the tour would pay off for the team's inexperienced players.

"Usually you have eight of those (experienced) players and a couple of younger players," Langer said.

"We've probably got three experienced players (Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Andrew Tye) and eight very inexperienced players.

"The balance isn't quite right at the moment and hopefully moving forward we'll get that balance back as we usually have in the Australian cricket team."

Australian Associated Press