Australia’s T20 captain Aaron Finch has endorsed Andrew McDonald as Justin Langer’s permanent replacement and echoed his Test counterpart Pat Cummins’ view saying the next coach needs to be “more collaborative”.
McDonald, who has acted as Langer’s assistant since 2019, has the chance to audition for a permanent stint after being installed as interim head coach. The Victorian will take charge of five T20 internationals against Sri Lanka who start today at the SCG.
The 40-year-old has worked with Australia’s T20 captain in Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades. But Finch indicated McDonald was the right fit for a permanent position beyond the Sri Lanka series. “I worked with him and we played together for a long time,” Finch said Thursday. “He is very good at his job.”
“He brings a lot of respect to the players (and) he has a calm approach. He never seems to be flustered by a situation or a result – it’s all about the process and making sure your preparation and attention to detail is 100 % He’s been with the team for a while now, so it’s an exciting time.
Finch indicated that he felt the head coaching role didn’t need to be split between the Test and cue ball formats. But he echoed the view of Cummins, who spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying the new head coach needed to seek advice from senior players.
“I think the band is in a really different space than four years ago,” he said. It’s a fairly experienced group, so there will be a lot of opinions and there will be a lot of people who want to be consulted and discuss different scenarios. I think that’s a very good starting point.
“We’ve started to get there over the past few months with a really collaborative approach to how the team is run. I think that’s how the team works best and there’s a lot of experience there and drawing on that is really important for the group.
Finch said Australia had made two changes to the squad that won a first T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates late last year. With David Warner rested, BBL leading scorer Ben McDermott will open the batting with Finch. Josh Inglis, 26, replaces Mitch Marsh and will play bats only with Matthew Wade assigned as wicketkeeper once again.
Australia XI: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (captain), 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 7:10 p.m. (EST).