Australia captain Aaron Finch remains under an injury cloud for Friday’s crunch World Cup clash with Afghanistan after being limited during training.
Finch said before training on Thursday afternoon that if he feels the slightest twinge in his hamstring he wouldn’t play, even if the decision ends his international career.
Finch declared himself a 70 per cent chance of playing in the do-or-die clash in Adelaide having suffered a hamstring injury in Monday night’s win over Ireland which forced him from the field.
But those chances might be even lower after the session.
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The Agereports that Finch looked in discomfort when trying to complete shuttles, and spent most of the session talking with Matthew Wade, coach Andrew McDonald, and likely replacement, Cameron Green.
Wade would lead the side in Finch’s absence, as he did against Ireland when the captain left the field.
Selection chief George Bailey has said the skipper, and Tim David who is also having hamstring issues, would be given every chance to prove their fitness, but also that they wouldn’t take anyone not at 100 per cent in to the game.
Finch said if he had any doubt he couldn’t contribute in the best way possible, he’d withdraw.
While he hasn’t thought of his future beyond Friday night’s game, it’s expected he won’t go on after the World Cup, which could mean an end on Friday night should Australia not progress to the semi-finals.
“It won‘t make it harder one bit,” Finch said on Thursday, still hopeful he’d play having done running at training.
“If I feel like one per cent (doubt) would be compromising the side‘s performance, I won’t play.
“If I don‘t feel confident in my hamstring … if I feel any pain or anything like that, I won’t play.”
Finch said David was in the exact situation as Australia’s World Cup defence goes on the line.
“The worst possible scenario is that you leave the guys short out there … you don‘t want to compromise the team performance by having a guy go down who comes in with a niggle,” he said.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis will play, which could help Australia’s pursuit of the net run rate boost needed to ensure they can secure passage to the finals, in front of England who play Sri Lanka in the last game of the group on Saturday.
“You still have to earn the right to be able to push for a net run rate,” Finch said.
“The last thing that you want to happen is you push too hard, you compromise the two points (for winning) and then potentially if something happened in the Sri Lankan-England game, you leave yourself vulnerable.
“There‘s obviously some scenarios there that we need to keep an eye on throughout the game so, if we get in a good position, that we can maximise it.”