Head set to claim Finch’s 50-over spot


Travis Head is set to have the first chance to replace Aaron Finch as David Warner’s opening partner in one-day cricket as team officials look ahead to next year’s World Cup.

Australia will line up for three ODIs against England from next Thursday which will lead to a short turnaround after their failure in the Twenty20 World Cup.

The series marks the start of 17 one-day internationals by next year’s World Cup in India, with Australia eyeing to reclaim the trophy they lost in 2015.

The majority of Australia’s T20 squad will likely take part in this tournament, with crossover in the majority of positions.

But Finch’s retirement from the 50 plus game in September opened the door for Head.

He will likely be named in the Australia squad when announced this week, and will likely start with Warner in all three games against England.

The South Australian has filled the role before, scoring 101 and 89 when Warner missed the one-day series against Pakistan in March.

“I think Travis Head will have opportunities with the retirement of Aaron Finch,” Australian coach Andrew McDonald said.

“We are excited to see what he can do in one-day cricket.

“We saw how he went to Pakistan against a world-class attack, he was able to take them on and his national one-day record is second to none.

“He has big hundreds and double hundreds.”

Head had a difficult start to the season but scored a half-century against the NSW opener at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

The left-hander had conceded in June that he was unlikely to be chosen for next year’s World Cup given he couldn’t see himself at bat in the middle of white-ball cricket.

But Finch’s retirement greatly improved his chances.

“I’m adaptable, but I don’t think that would be my role in the future,” Head said at the time.

“My opportunity will probably present itself in a moment at the top of the order.

“The comments are that I have to bide my time… with two world class players (in David Warner and Aaron Finch) sitting there right now.”

Beyond Head, NSW fly-half Daniel Hughes is giving himself every chance of being in the frame with two centuries over 50 at the top of the order to start the season.

Rising star Josh Phillipe would be another contender, scoring 291 carries at an average of 97 so far this season after nearing the top of the charts last summer.

Meanwhile, officials must decide whether to play newly installed captain Pat Cummins against England, or rest him ahead of a summer of nine Tests at home and in India.

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