Aussies face questions on Cup opening role

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Justin Langer and Aaron Finch will be left to decide whether to return David Warner to the top of the order or break up the form opening combination in world cricket. Finch, Warner and Usman Khawaja were all selected in Australia's World Cup squad on Monday, setting up a tantalising battle at the top of the order for the tournament opener against Afghanistan on June 1. Finch and Usman Khawaja have averaged 81 for the opening stand in 10 games together in the past year – the highest of any regular combination over the past 12 months. But Warner looks in devastating form, topping the Indian Premier League run-scoring lists with 400 at an average of 80 while batting at the top of the order for Sunrisers Hyderabad. "There's no doubt Finch and Khawaja have worked well together up there," chief selector Trevor Hohns said. "It's more so for the captain and coach to decide on that area. Who plays where and what roles they are given. It was a little while ago that we did sit down in a room and discuss how we are going to play the game." The most likely option will be that one of trio slips down to No.3, allowing the more conservative Steve Smith to walk out at the fall of the second wicket. Finch and Warner have never batted at first drop, while Khawaja has batted there 10 times but his average drops 24.33 at No.3 compared to 53.63 as an opener. "There's going to be plenty to think about over the next six-10 weeks, to work back from that first game and find our best combination," Finch said. "Davey's record at the top is unbelievable, he's been in great nick. "Whichever way we go, there's probably scope to mix and match that throughout the tournament as we see fit. "There's nothing set in stone right now." But Finch did say he had developed a strong relationship with Khawaja in India and the UAE, as Australia won their last eight matches. "Being friends for 15 or 16 years, that's a lot to fall back on," he said. "When you're under pressure, you go back to your default and knowing someone inside out is crucial. "You get a sense of their body language and how they're feeling without actually having to talk about it." Australian Associated Press

Justin Langer and Aaron Finch will be left to decide whether to return David Warner to the top of the order or break up the form opening combination in world cricket.

Finch, Warner and Usman Khawaja were all selected in Australia's World Cup squad on Monday, setting up a tantalising battle at the top of the order for the tournament opener against Afghanistan on June 1.

Finch and Usman Khawaja have averaged 81 for the opening stand in 10 games together in the past year – the highest of any regular combination over the past 12 months.

But Warner looks in devastating form, topping the Indian Premier League run-scoring lists with 400 at an average of 80 while batting at the top of the order for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"There's no doubt Finch and Khawaja have worked well together up there," chief selector Trevor Hohns said.

"It's more so for the captain and coach to decide on that area. Who plays where and what roles they are given. It was a little while ago that we did sit down in a room and discuss how we are going to play the gameRead More – Source

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Margaret River Mail
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