Yorkshire roll out welcome mat for Finch despite his dip in form

YORKSHIRE believe Aaron Finch can build on some modest returns in the Indian Premier League by producing the match-winning innings that can fire the club to T20 glory.

Australia's Aaron Finch bats against England

Finch is set to meet his new Yorkshire team-mates at Headingley today after arriving in the country last night following his spell with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

The Australian star – the world’s No 1-ranked batsman in international T20 – had an unremarkable competition by his standards, scoring 309 runs in 13 innings at 28.09 with a strike-rate of 117 runs per 100 balls.

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But Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon believes that Finch – who will make his debut in the T20 against Derbyshire at Headingley on Friday – can have an explosive impact as overseas player.

“Aaron’s IPL form was a little bit up-and-down as far as runs were concerned, but he’s shown over a period of time the qualities he’s got so I’m sure he’ll do well for us,” said Moxon.

“When you’re looking for overseas players, you’re looking for someone who can make a difference and put in match-winning performances, and he can certainly do that.

“Aaron is an explosive batsman – the top-ranked international player in the world – so you can’t get better than that.

“I’m not expecting him to come and win every game for us, but I think he’s capable of winning two, three, four games himself.”

Finch, 27, managed two innings of note in the IPL.

He scored an unbeaten 88 to help mastermind victory over Delhi Daredevils and he struck 68 in defeat against Mumbai.

Finch, who will be presented to the media at Headingley tomorrow, is said to be relishing the prospect of playing for Yorkshire.

He has kept in regular contact with the club since signing in February.

“Aaron has been checking how we’ve been going throughout the season and he’s really looking forward to getting here,” said Moxon.

“He’s been keeping close notice of what we’ve been doing in all forms of the game – not just T20 - and we’re looking forward to having him around.

“He’s got a few days, weather permitting, to get used to conditions here because if the weather stays like it’s been lately, it’s certainly going to be different to playing in India.

“Hopefully, he’ll be able to have a few grass nets just to get a feel of things before the Derbyshire match.”

Although Yorkshire have signed Finch primarily to boost their T20 chances, the man himself is also looking to gain important experience of County Championship cricket.

Finch averages 27 from 39 first-class games but he has aspirations of one day playing Test cricket.

“Obviously T20 is his major strength, but he is really keen to do well in first-class cricket going forward,” said Moxon.

“That’s an area of his game he’s looking to improve because he’s got ambitions of playing Test cricket as well as one-day cricket.

“Having spoken to him and his agent, one of the big things about coming here for Aaron was the ability to play four-day as well as T20.

“I think he had a few offers just for T20, which didn’t really suit him.”

Finch will play in the Championship match at Northamptonshire on Saturday as a straight swap for Kane Williamson.

The New Zealand batsman leaves after the current Championship game against Lancashire to take part in his country’s tour of the West Indies, returning to Headingley in early July.

“Aaron will play in the Championship game at Northants,” 
confirmed Moxon, who said 
Yorkshire had yet to decide 
where Finch will bat in four-day cricket.

“With Kane leaving after the Lancashire game, the transition has actually worked out rather well.

“Kane’s been brilliant for us, and although he hasn’t got a hundred yet, he’s played some very fine innings and his technique and character have shone through.

“For a young lad, he is such a mature cricketer, and I think he’s going to be a superstar if he stays fit.”

Moxon hopes one of the knock-on effects of Finch’s capture will be his ability to inspire Yorkshire’s young players in the Twenty20 format of the game, in which they are yet to win.

He believes it can only assist their development.

“I think we can learn a lot from Aaron, particularly our young batsmen, as to how he goes about T20 batting,” said Moxon.

“There is an art to it – it’s not just slogging the way he plays, but very good, positive batting.

“The thing about Aaron is that if he doesn’t get a boundary off a particular delivery, he more often than not gets a single, and that’s the art really.

“It’s something we’re continually working on – not eating up too many dot balls – and he has the ability to rotate the strike if he can’t score a boundary.”