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New captain Finch to be short-staffed

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Aaron Finch talks to the press after arriving in the UAE, Dubai, September 30, 2014Australia's new Twenty20 leader Aaron Finch could be forced to make his captaincy debut without two members of his squad, depending on the results of the Champions League T20 semi-finals. Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins and Cameron Boyce are all officially part of Australia's 13-man squad for Sunday's one-off T20 against Pakistan in Dubai, but they may not even be in the country. All three are part of teams that have made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League - Maxwell with Kings XI Punjab, Cummins with Kolkata Knight Riders and Boyce with Hobart Hurricanes. Either one or two of those teams will make the Champions League final, to be played in Bangalore on Saturday, and Cricket Australia has already confirmed the CLT20 will take precedence. "Due to the condensed nature of the schedule, should any Australian player be required for the Champions League final they will be deemed unavailable for the T20 international against Pakistan on October 5," Cricket Australia said in a statement in September, when the squads for the UAE tour were announced. Remarkably, that effectively means playing for Australia is being treated as a lower priority than appearing for a domestic team. The circumstance could be especially frustrating for the legspinner Boyce, who has played only one game in the CLT20 and might not make the Hurricanes' XI if they reach the final, yet could also be denied the chance for an international debut. "If they're available, great, if they're not, there'll be someone else to step into their shoes," Finch said in Dubai. "In Maxwell's case, we've got a couple of guys here as cover. Phil Hughes is here for the one-day series coming up so it might mean he slots into the side somewhere. "But it's exciting for those guys to play in a world tournament. It's just another thing that gets thrown up and you have to embrace it. The Champions League is such a big competition and a world competition now, guys have to be given the opportunity to perform there on that stage. Aaron Finch talks to the press after arriving in the UAE, Dubai, September 30, 2014 Aaron Finch will become the seventh man to lead Australia's T20 side © Getty Images Enlarge "We'll probably know our XI once the Champions League semi-finals have happened. If there's a spot there, we're going to have to fill it. Whether it's Hughesy, whether he bats at the top of the order or in the middle order if he gets an opportunity, we'll have to wait and see. "Nathan Lyon started his career as a Twenty20 player and did an exceptional job. He's had some good success when he's played limited-overs cricket as well. They'd be very well placed to fill a spot if need be." However, the situation is far from ideal as Finch takes over the captaincy of Australia's T20 side from George Bailey, who stepped down last month. Finch will become the seventh man to lead Australia in the T20 format and the nature of international T20 scheduling means that he will not have many games in charge before the World T20 is contested in India in 2016. Finch has impressed when leading the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL and the selectors considered him the stand-out candidate to replace Bailey in the national side. He said he would take his aggressive approach from domestic leadership to the international side as well. "In Twenty20 cricket you have to take some risks every now and then," Finch said. "Sometimes they come off, sometimes they don't. I think I've played enough cricket now to get more of a feel for the game and see where it heads. But I think I'll be quite aggressive. "We've got some really good all-round skilled players. I think you can use that to your advantage. It doesn't mean you have to stick a hell of a lot to one particular style of game plan. You can chop and change quite a bit. That's what you should expect from me." Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.



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