Finch backs McDonald’s ‘calm’ to fill coaching void left by Langer | Cricket Australia

Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch has endorsed Andrew McDonald as Justin Langer’s permanent replacement and parroted the view of his Test counterpart Pat Cummins by saying the next coach must be “more collaborative”.

McDonald, who has acted as an assistant to Langer since 2019, has the chance to audition for a permanent stay after being installed as interim head coach. The Victorian will take charge of five T20 internationals against Sri Lanka which begin at the SCG today.

The 40-year-old has worked with Australia’s T20 captain at Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades. But Finch indicated that McDonald was the right fit for a permanent position beyond the Sri Lanka series. “I’ve worked with him and we played together for a long time,” Finch said on Thursday. “He’s very good at his job.”.

“He brings a lot of respect from the players (and) he has a calm approach. He never seems to get flustered by any situation or result – it’s all about the process and making sure your preparation and attention to detail is 100 per cent. He’s been around the team for quite a while now, so it’s exciting times.”

Finch indicated that he believed the head coach role did not need to be split between Test and white-ball formats. But he did echo the view of Cummins, who spoke to media on Wednesday, by saying the new head coach needed to seek advice from senior players.

“I think the group is in a really different space from four years ago,” he said. It’s quite an experienced group so there’ll be a lot of opinions and there’s going to be a lot of people who want to be consulted and to talk through different scenarios. I think that’s a really good place to start.

“We’ve started to get there over the last few months with a really collaborative approach with the way the team is run. I think that’s the way the team functions best and there’s a lot of experience there and tapping into that is really important to the group.”

Finch said Australia had made two changes to the team which claimed a maiden T20 World Cup in the UAE late last year. With David Warner rested, the BBL’s top run-scorer Ben McDermott will open the batting with Finch. Josh Inglis, 26, comes in for Mitch Marsh and will play solely as a batsman with Matthew Wade entrusted as wicketkeeper once more.

Australia XI: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (capt), Josh Inglis, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

Australia v Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground begins Friday 11/2 at 7.10pm (EST).

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