DUBAI (Reuters) – Australia captain Aaron Finch defended sending Glen Maxwell to bat in the powerplay overs and Steve Smith’s presence in the side after their eight-wicket thrashing by England in a Twenty20 World Cup match on Saturday.
Australian spin great Shane Warne lamented the team’s strategy of sending Maxwell, instead of Marcus Stoinis, to bat in the powerplay overs after the quick departures of David Warner and Smith.
Finch, whose battling 44 was the highest score in Australia’s below-par total of 125 all out, said they wanted to benefit from Maxwell’s free-scoring ability.
“When you’ve only got six specialist batters, you’re backing your top six to get the job done, so there’s no issues there,” Finch said after their first loss of the tournament.
“Maxi has done extremely well in the past. He’s as destructive as anyone if he gets through the powerplay.”
Warne felt Australia had erred by leaving out all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and retaining Smith who managed one run.
“Poor strategy & tactics from the Aussies. I love Smith but he shouldn’t be in the T/20 team. Marsh has to be,” Warne tweeted.
Finch said he thought it was the best combination to go with in the Super 12 contest at Dubai International Stadium.
“That’s just subjective, isn’t it? Everyone has got a different opinion on it, and that’s okay.
“We thought we picked a team to win the game tonight.”
Australia, chasing their maiden 20-overs World Cup title, play Bangladesh in their next match on Thursday.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Dubai; editing by Pritha Sarkar)