AARON FINCH believes Yorkshire can be his passport into the Australian Test team.
He feels his time with the club can help him shake the tag of one-day specialist.
Finch, who will debut in the T20 against Derbyshire at Headingley on Friday, has played 23 one-day internationals and 18 T20 internationals.
Now he wants to break into the Test side and show he is more than a one-trick pony.
“I want to play Test cricket – that’s my No 1 goal,” said Finch, who was unveiled to the media at Headingley yesterday.
“Whether that’s next year or a couple of years down the track, that doesn’t bother me.
“When you grow up, you don’t grow up wanting to be a one-day cricketer for Australia.
“I grew up dreaming of being a Test cricketer and this stint at Yorkshire can only help that.”
Finch, who scored a T20 international world record 156 against England at Southampton last summer, said he spurned T20-only offers to join Yorkshire.
The 27-year-old will be available for County Championship cricket while Kane Williamson is away, with the New Zealand batsman set to join his country’s six-week tour of the West Indies after the Roses match.
“I had chances to play T20 elsewhere, but it didn’t interest me to do just that,” said Finch, who will make his Championship debut at Northamptonshire on Saturday.
“I feel comfortable with my T20 game and don’t feel I have to prove anything to anyone in that regard, and to get this chance to play four-day cricket was a big part of my decision to sign.
“Yorkshire have been good enough to give me an opportunity on the back of a pretty poor first-class record.
“But I’ve got confidence in my game to be able to turn that around and become a successful four-day and Test cricketer too.”
Finch – who averages 27 from 39 first-class games – hopes to emulate the route taken by his fellow Australian David Warner.
Warner had not played a first-class match when he debuted for Australia in 2009, but has since become a successful Test player.
“David Warner did it through the T20 and one-day route and he’s shown how successful you can be if you back your ability and play to your strengths,” said Finch.
“His technique has changed over the last 18 months to a guy who’s really solid now, and he still takes on the game which is one thing in Australia that’s changed over the last little while.
“If the game’s not going forwards, it’s going backwards, and I think that’s been embraced by players like David and, in the past, by people like Virender Sehwag.
“Those guys can win a game in a session; if David gets 80 in a session, nine times out of 10 the opposition are out of the game.”
Finch, who opens in T20 but is expected to bat lower in the Championship line-up, is at a loss to explain why he has not performed better in the first-class arena.
He is confident he can address the problem.
“I don’t really know why it is,” he said.
“Maybe being caught between whether to play my natural game as an attacking player or to go the other way and try to grind out an innings has had something to do with it.
“It’s something I’ve wrestled with, but I’ve made some small technical changes and feel I can adapt to the different formats.
“This is a good chance to experience county cricket and English conditions.”
Finch, who played for York club side Clifton Alliance in 2009, said on joining Yorkshire in February that Australia coach and Yorkshire legend Darren Lehmann had a role in encouraging the move.
Lehmann is a great friend of Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire’s first-team coach, with whom he keeps in regular touch.
“When you’ve got someone like Boof (Lehmann) and Dizzy (Gillespie) who are close mates, that helps a little bit in getting the process in motion, and I’m just really excited to be here,” said Finch.
“Boof is such a passionate guy about the county and claims to be the most famous person in Yorkshire still.
“Australians have a long history of being successful at Headingley; Don Bradman had a couple of triple centuries here, of course.
“No one I’ve spoken to has a bad word to say about Yorkshire, and I can’t wait to get stuck in on Friday.”