Finch backed to deliver at Test level
AARON Finch's Test introduction couldn't have been better timed according to captain Tim Paine, who expects the limited overs specialist to grasp his opportunity against Pakistan.
A senior member of Australia's one-day and Twenty-20 sides, Finch's short-form runs have thrust him into the red-ball fray for a two-Test tour of the United Arab Emirates next month.
He was one of five potential debutants on the plane out of Brisbane on Wednesday night, where Paine gave Matthew Renshaw's potential opening partner his endorsement.
"It's come at a really good time for him. He's in outstanding form, albeit it in white ball cricket, but you can only score runs in the game you're playing," Paine said.
David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith are all suspended following March's ball-tampering saga in South Africa while bowling pillars Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood also miss the tour due to injury.
Bowlers Michael Neser and Brendan Doggett, as well as batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head join Finch as their replacements.
At 31, the big-hitting Victorian offers much-needed experience that could help Paine as he leads the depleted side out of the shadows cast by the disastrous tour of South Africa.
"He's matured into a really good cricketer. Guys come into their best in their early 30s ... Finchy couldn't have been picked at a better time," said Paine, who expects to have input before the XI for the first Test on October 7 is finalised.
Meanwhile, Paine said a patient approach will be required at the crease to counter the conditions - something a far more accomplished Australian side was unable to do in a 2-0 thumping in the UAE four years ago.
"Games in UAE take a long time (to move forward). You have to be patient to build partnerships, patience and pressure," he said.
"We're going to have to play really hard, tough cricket and, same for our bowlers, it's going to be about wearing them down."